Barnes & Noble pins its hopes on Nook e-reader
Stephen Foley is a former Associate Business Editor of The Independent, based in New York. He left in August 2012. In a decade at the paper, he covered personal finance, the UK stock market and the pharmaceuticals industry, and had also been the Business section's share tipster. Between arriving with three suitcases in Manhattan in January 2006 and his departure, he witnessed and reported on a great economic boom turning spectacularly to bust. In March 2009, he was named Business and Finance Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards.
Wednesday 31 August 2011
Barnes & Noble, the largest chain of bookshops in the US, said sales of physical books are sliding sharply at its stores and it no longer expects any of the company's growth to come from that traditional business.
The company is pinning its hopes instead on the Nook e-reader, a rival to Amazon's Kindle, and on sales of e-books for the device, which it promised to double to $1.8bn (£1.1bn) this year.
B&N's latest quarterly results, out yesterday, showed the accelerating changes in the way books are read and sold, and underscored the difficulties facing traditional bookstores. The company posted a loss of $56.6m for the period, slightly narrower than the $62.5m it lost in the same quarter last year, and said it would remain in the red for the financial year as a whole.
Same-store sales were down 1.6 per cent, as surging sales of toys and games and Nook readers failed to make up for the decline in books.
But investors were cheered that Nook sales – including the device, accessories and downloads of e-books and magazines – rose 140 per cent to $227m. B&N shares jumped more than 10 per cent in early trading.
The company this month secured a $204m investment from John Malone's Liberty Media, while rival chain Borders is being liquidated after going bankrupt.
B&N said it expected sales to jump significantly when Borders' closing down sales are finally over.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
Anonymity order lifted for triple child killer David McGreavy jailed in 1973
World news in pictures
Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
Video emerges of Pope Francis reportedly performing an exorcism in St Peter’s Square
- 1 Terror at Woolwich barracks: Attacker tried to behead and disembowel British soldier
- 2 Gay couple beaten in park urge MPs to moderate language on gay marriage
- 3 After woman sells virginity for $780,000, here are the results of our prostitution survey
- 4 China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016
- 5 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.