Barnes and Noble has just announced that their holiday sales for e-readers, tablets and e-Books did not meet expectations. Customers expressed trepidation about the booksellers new line of Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook devices and did not purchase them in droves like B&N had hoped.
The NOOK segment (including digital content, devices and accessories), had sales of $56 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 55.4% as compared to a year ago. Device and accessories sales were $28.5 million, a decrease of 67.9% from a year ago. Digital content sales were $27.4 million, a decline of 25.0% compared to a year ago.
Print books once again were the savior of Barnes and Noble, even though digital did not live up to expectations. The Retail segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores had sales of $1.1 billion, increasing 0.2% over the prior year. Sales benefited from the continued stabilization of physical book sales and growth in the educational toys and games and gift departments.
I for one am very disappointed that Nook e-Books and e-reader sales continue to tank for the company. It is very hard to compete against the Kindle Voyage and Kobo H20 which sold in record numbers all December long. It also helped that many industry news and review websites gushed over these two devices and did not really hype any of B&N consumer electronics.
I would recommend if Barnes and Noble released a new e-reader in 2015 they should push it out at the end of October, in order to take advantage of all the positive press going into the holiday season. The last e-reader they issued, the Nook Glowlight came out at the beginning of 2014 and lost momentum towards the end of the year.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.