Splitting Nook from Barnes & Noble may not be a good idea for the digital branch after all. In releasing their fourth quarter earnings, Barnes & Noble showed an overall positive holiday quarter, but Nook is bringing them down. Nook revenue fell 55% over last year, casting doubt on which of Barnes & Noble’s two halves (physical or digital) is really failing. Nook’s earnings count digital devices, eBooks and accessories. That includes the Samsung Nook, which was meant to resurrect the brand with regard to hardware.
Nook’s digital content sales dropped 25% versus last year, while device and accessory sales dipped 68%.
The separation of digital and physical is currently planned for August, though with digital performing so poorly, it’s easy to see why plans would be halted or altered. Similarly, selling the underperforming brand could prove troublesome.
Barnes & Noble was up 1.7% in physical retail, but Nook performance led to a 0.6% decline overall.
It’s a two-pronged problem for Nook. Hardware sales can be indicative of widespread consumer malaise surrounding off-beat tablets like Nook, but a digital sales slump suggests customers are looking elsewhere for their reading needs. It’s worth noting Nook is available outside Barnes & Noble hardware, with an app for Android and iOS available for free.
Source: The Wall Street Journal