Barnes & Noble NOOK holiday sales 'fell short of expectations'

Barnes & Noble NOOK holiday sales 'fell short of expectations'

Summary: Barnes & Noble's NOOK HD and HD+ tablet sales suffer as the devices are caught between the twin juggernauts of Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle Fire.


While there seemed to be plenty of Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets purchased during the holidays, sales of NOOK tablets "fell short of expectations," according to Barnes & Noble.

In a statement, William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble said that while "NOOK device sales got off to a good start over the Black Friday period," they then faltered, and "fell short of expectations for the balance of holiday."

"We are examining the root cause of the December shortfall in sales, and will adjust our strategies accordingly going forward," said Lynch.

During the nine-week holiday period, Barnes and Noble's digital business -- which include the NOOK readers and tablets, digital content, and accessories -- saw revenues of $311 million, a decrease of 12.6 percent compared to the same period last year.

NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ tablets reviews have been positive, but the devices  have are in the unfortunate position of being sandwiched between the twin juggernauts of Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle Fire.

See alsoBest Android-powered tablets (December 2012 edition)

To make matters worse, the market is being further eroded by tablets from the likes of Samsung, and even Microsoft. The tablet and e-reader market is a very crowded one, and despite making what it calls "significant investments over the past three years building the valuable NOOK digital retailing platform," Barnes & Noble has found it hard to maintain traction during the all-important holiday period.

While the NOOK failed to take advantage of the holiday season, a report says the success experienced by the Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab managed to shave over 7 percentage points off the iPad's Web usage share following Christmas day as people started to browse the web with their new devices.

Image source: Barnes & Noble.

Topics: Tablets, Amazon, Android, iPad, Samsung

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  • Changed my mind

    I almost bought one but changed my mind at the last minute after getting to the store. It's a nice piece of hardware but I started thinking about how Amazon has a bigger eco system for video and music. Then I noticed the Nexus 7 was in stock and couldn't really see any reason to buy an e-reader of any kind while there are quality full featured Android tablets available at highly competitive prices. There are Kindle and Nook apps to access their competitors content. It looks like Amazon may even make an app soon to allow access to their video. The only e-reader that makes sense to me anymore is e-ink.
  • But the other article said ipad sales were down, citing

    more internet use from nooks and other competition...

    And "NOOK", is that an acronym? I know what a 'nook' is...
  • no need for Lynch to "examine root cause"

    The NOOK hardware specs look pretty good on paper, but the ecosystem is just far too limited. I own a couple older NOOKs and the B&N emails I get always seem to be loaded with kiddie apps. B&N clearly has targeted the NOOK at the "family" audience, but I think that's going to cost them. My non-tech mom wanted primarily a reader so I got her a Kindle, and their tablet app store looks pretty decent. I wanted more flexibility so I got a Nexus 7, and it works great as a reader as well as all the other goofy stuff I use it for. I think most users fall into one of those two camps (or Apple). I don't see the market for NOOK. I know I'm done with NOOK hardware, and I fear I've purchased my last B&N media. Makes me sad to see another book store go like that.

    Oh, and free books like classics. Plenty available on both Play and Kindle, but I've yet to find anything like that on NOOK.
  • Nook Book

    The area that Barnes and Noble shines (that's a pun) is with the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. Yes, I know Kindle has one as well, but the Nook Simple Touch is easy to slip into my jeans pocket and does not have those annoying ads. Guess which one Barnes and Noble never put on sale during the Holiday season. If they modified the Simple Touch to allow it to read a few more formats (Doc, Docx, TXT, PDF) and dropped the price to $99 on the Glowlight I think they would have a winner.
    • If...

      If they widened their target audience beyond the continental USA, they might get enough buyers to remain profitable.
      Its hard to feel sympathy for a company that refuses to sell its product. The inevitable decline [and eventual demise] of such a company is so inevitable, documenting the downfall is barely newsworthy.