Sales of Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader plunge during holiday shopping season

Total sales in the Nook division were down by more than half and content sales dropped 25 percent

The holiday shopping season wasn't merry for Barnes & Noble's Nook division, which experienced plummeting sales of the Nook e-reader as well as content and accessories for the device.

Total sales in the Nook segment, which includes devices, accessories and content, came in at US$56 million for the nine weeks through Saturday, according to figures released by the bookstore chain on Thursday. This represents a 55.4 percent decrease compared to 2013's holiday shopping period. Device and accessory sales were down by 67.9 percent and came in at $28.5 million. Digital content sales tallied $27.4 million, a 25 percent drop from the previous year's figure.

Barnes & Noble has struggled on the digital front, where Nook sales have proved lackluster. The company hasn't been able to fend off Amazon's popular Kindle e-readers and the plethora of tablets from companies like Apple, Samsung and Google that allow people to download and read books by using an app.

In December, Barnes & Noble announced that it was buying out Microsoft's stake in the Nook division for $120 million in a cash and stock transaction. The companies entered a partnership in 2012 in which Microsoft invested $300 million to obtain a 17.6 percent stake in a newly created Nook Media subsidiary consisting of Barnes & Nobles' digital division and college bookstores. Microsoft may have lost around US$315 million on the Nook partnership after factoring in funding guarantees and arrangements that obligated the tech heavyweight to pay Barnes & Noble to support Nook device and content development, among other stipulations.

That news of dismal Nook sales follows June's announcement that Barnes & Noble was splitting into two companies. One would handle retail stores and online sales and the other would comprise Nook digital operations and the chain's college bookstores. The separation should be complete by August 2015, the company has said.

Fred O'Connor writes about IT careers and health IT for The IDG News Service. Follow Fred on Twitter at @fredjoconnor. Fred's e-mail address is fred_o'connor@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicse-readersBarnes & Noble

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Fred O'Connor

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?