It’s Literally Wednesday: News from B&NDave | June 26, 2013
When France sneezes, Europe catches a cold. This was said by Klemons von Metternich, foreign minister for the Austrian Empire, in the mid 1800s. This idiom has been adopted to various changes of circumstances, including by me.
When Barnes and Noble sneezes, the publishing industry catches a cold. And the publishing industry is not feeling well at all.
B&N released its sales and earnings reports yesterday for its fourth quarter and for its full year ended April 27, 2013. Net losses for both the quarter and year were double that of those previous, with a downward trend. The company’s stated outlook for the next twelve months is equally bleak.
While retail sales at its bricks and mortar stores posted solid declines, it was nothing compared to the Nook digital division. Nook unit sales declined 34% for the quarter while digital content declined almost 9%. While B&N will continue to manufacture dedicated e-readers, it will stop producing tablets. They are currently looking to partner with another company to supply them with Nook branded tablets. B&N will continue with their current plans for closing 15-20 per year while opening around five. In the Atlanta market, their store on Camp Creek Parkway (just outside the perimeter), will shutter this summer.
A business can only afford losses of this magnitude ($120M in the last three months) for so long. The question on everyone’s mind is whether Barnes and Noble is going the way of Borders and, if so, what then.
Kent Wascom, author of Blood of Heaven, Wednesday, June 26th at 7pm, Highland Inn Ballroom, sponsored by A Cappella Books, free.
Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Sisterland, Monday, July 1st at 7:15pm, Decatur Library, sponsored by Georgia Center for the Book, free.