NOOK hardware sales down by two thirds over holidays

NOOK hardware sales down by two thirds over holidays


They have some justification for it, but take a look at this small excerpt from a Barnes & Noble press release:

“The NOOK segment (including digital content, devices and accessories), had revenues of $125 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 60.5% as compared to a year ago.  Device and accessories sales were $88.7 million for the holiday period, a decrease of 66.7% from a year ago, due to lower unit selling volume and lower average selling prices.  Digital content sales were $36.5 million for the holiday period, a decline of 27.3% compared to a year ago due to lower device unit sales and lower average selling prices.”
press release

Again, to emphasize, the device and accessories sales were down 66.7%

The much better news in the press release is that the core comparable bookstore sales were only down 0.2%.

Now, does that mean that p-books (paperbooks) sold about equally as well during holiday 2013 for Barnes & Noble as they did during holiday 2012? Unfortunately for paper lovers, no, but they probably did do okay.

Part of the success is credited to “…strong increases in our Juvenile, Gift and Toys & Games categories.”

That’s one of the interesting things with people possibly “showrooming” Barnes & Nobles. That’s what it is called when you go into a retail store, find something you like, and then order it online (not from that store).

I think that’s much more likely to impact digital goods, like e-books, where you have the item just as quickly as if you bought it in the store (more quickly, in many cases, because you don’t have to wait in line to buy it).

With a physical item, it might be cheaper, but you might have to wait days to get it. People have a sense of uncertainty at the holidays: they want to make absolutely sure they have what they need when they need it. Same delivery will impact that. If the item is backordered with same day delivery, you can probably still “correct the issue” in time.

With digital items, there is no backordering (although digital items to do sometimes become temporarily unavailable).

While Michael Husby became the head of B&N’s digital division after the NOOK outlook became grim, it still surprised me a bit that B&N made Husby the new CEO (Chief Executive Officer):

press release

If I was a Barnes & Noble investor, or potential investor, I’m not sure that hearing that the head of the anchor was being put in charge of the sails. 😉

I will say that B&N did better this holiday than I thought they might…congratulations to them!

Bonus deal: bundles in the Kindle store

In some cases, you just know you aren’t going to want to read only one book in a series…you want it all! Or, you know, you at least want a bunch of books. You are willing to get ten books in a romance series you know nothing about if the price is low enough.

Well, in the paper world (I’m a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager), we commonly referred to several books in one as an “omnibus”. In the e-book world, that might be referred to as a “bundle”.

I did a

There are some great deals there! You have to look past the price you see, and divide that by the number of books in it.

Five Game of Thrones books for $19.99? That’s about $4 per book. Sure, you want to be pretty sure that you’ll eventually want to read them all…but I think many of you know that ahead of time. How about nine books for $0.99? Worth the risk? Up to you… 😉


This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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