There’s a touch of sadness with the realization that these are the final days of one of the great institutions in America, the bookstore.
If you had missed the reports, Barnes & Noble is in deep trouble. The writing was on the wall with the recently exaggerated price cuts of the NOOK tablet. But we hadn’t anticipated such quick fruition of our speculation.
Here’s what Barnes & Noble’s fourth quarter looked like:
- A 7.4% drop in revenue.
- $122 million loss for the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.
- For the year, B&N earned only $10 million compared to $177 million the previous year.
- A 17% drop in NOOK revenue.
- A $475 million loss for the NOOK’s device division.
- The end of NOOK tablet production.
I could go on and on about the missteps made by Barnes & Noble: it’s reactionary marketing, lack of in-store focus and monumental potential lost with the NOOK. But I’ll save those anecdotes for another day.
When Borders left us, I was upset. Then, I still had Barnes & Noble to turn to for exploring new books. Of course, you can still read books on eReaders, but this marks the final shift.
As Barnes and Noble says goodbye, there will be no bookstores left to turn to and the world of eReaders will have fully arrived.