Barnes & Noble announced today that it is considering selling its NOOK business, citing significant shortfalls in sales and cutting its full-year forecast.

B&N also cited NOOK sales which fell below expectations, and investments in advertising and expansion as reasons for a predicted shortfall in fiscal 2012 sales of between $200 million and $320 million less than average estimates of $7.32 billion.

The major bookseller indicated that it plans to market the NOOK for "years to come," but that it "over-anticipated the growth in consumer demand for single-purpose black-and-white reading devices this holiday," as the company's simplest e-reader lagged far behind in sales compared to other members of the NOOK family.


Barnes & Noble is looking to split its e-reader business, exploring options with partners including publishers and tech companies which have the potential to expand the NOOK business internationally.

CEO William Lynch offered a short explanation of the decision:

We see substantial value in what we’ve built with our NOOK business in only two years, and we believe it’s the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value.

Barnes & Noble has decided to hold further comments until a final decision is made.

Via Fox Business

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Luke

    Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor... and then go back to reading my Kindle.

  • Ben

    Google... it only makes sense.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott

    I guess they learned nothing from Borders.

  • Daniel

    Why can't non US residents buy books? Open up for international buyers!

    • Justin

      Did you read the article...? That was one of the big reasons given for looking into selling. They have built a good name with NOOK but don't have the ability (most likely financing mainly but among other things) to take it internationally.

  • collier black

    There probably won't be a Barnes & Noble in the near future. Their big box stores are going the way of Borders. They have banked everything on the Nook and have difficulties servicing the demand. And the deamnd has been below projections. I think they will sell Nook and start closing stores.How they reconcile that in the investment community will be interesting.

    • Paul

      Sad cause I would choose the Nook Tablet over the Kindle Fire if I wanted a tablet.

      • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

        Read carefully, it's the Nook B&W that has disappointing sales, not the Nook Color and Nook Tablet. What they are wanting to sell is the B&W Nook e-reader only.

  • Tomas – University Place, WA

    As a two-Nook family, this saddens me.

    Doing battle with Amazon is always an up-hill battle, but B&N has made some excellent machines (especially the Simple Touch) that have improved the entire marketplace via competition.

    I'd hate to see either B&N OR the Nook go down. :(

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com PixelSlave

      It's not going down. I read a piece yesterday saying the Nook (all Nook devices combined) business sees a 85% growth in revenue. So, if the Nook B&W reader sales were disappointed, that must mean the color Nooks were doing very good.

  • Paul

    I have the 1st Ed. Nook and the Simple Touch. I love them both. I was hoping B&N wouldn't have this sort of problem. Talk about bad PR. Anyone who just got one for christmas might influence others to buy one in the next few months. This makes me want to jump ship to Amazon ASAP. WTH.

  • Bateluer

    Thats a shame. Every nook device has been excellent, well made and priced competitively, and superior to their Kindle equivalents. And they have a larger content library than Amazon too. Even though the Nook Tablet has a locked bootloader, its still a far better device than the Kindle Fire.

    AFAIK, they can't open things internationally due to licensing issues.

  • Brian C

    It looks like the article says that the monochrome-only ereaders lagged. I think this was a classic case of a company misreading the market.

    B&N is embracing digital media, where Borders got dragged kicking and screaming into it -- and then half-a**ed their ereader (the Kobo? P.O.S.)

    WRT shopping the nook around, shopping != selling. I can see where they might do a spinoff in order to capitalize on the nook's popularity. But I'd be concerned that the spinoff would have issues being a single-product company.

  • savedr

    I have a Simple Touch, and a laptop and a good smartphone, and I STILL consider my Nook to be an essential device; it still does several things that none of my other devices can, like last weeks on a battery charge, let me read perfectly in sunlight or natural light with zero glare, etc. Now, if I had gotten a Nook Color instead, that wouldn't be true at all.

    I sort of think one of their problems is in even introducing the Color models. I have almost zero need for a tablet, and when I think about using one the last one I would get would be an underpowered one like a Color or Kindle Fire (underpowered compared to most other Android tablets and iPad). Plus, they wouldn't work as well as an ereader either, with glare-y non-epaper screens that perform poorly in low light and battery life measured in hours rather than weeks. The one benefit they bring to reading, color books, absolutely doesn't make up for their shortcomings in my opinion. And anything else I would use a normal tablet for, mostly computing Apps like web browsing and games, is done far better by both my Android touchscreen phone and laptop; for me, tablets in general, and especially lower devices like Color and Fire, have no application at all.

  • savedr

    Before I got one, I hemmed and hawed about it, reasoning that I could read books fine on my phone. But since I have found that reading on my Nook saves hours of battery life on my phone, and the eink screen is way easier on my eyes. I really just hope they keep making readers with those screens in the future.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott

    Just another thought: if Google releasesd their own sub $200 tablet as is rumored, with the ereader software available for Nook and Fire, they could both be in trouble, why get either when you can have both?

  • Sheryl

    Its because they make an inferior device and have very poor customer service. the only decent nook they made was the 1st gen. they never explored its full potential for games (like kindle did). Their power cords are faulty, my nook color has spent more time not working then working :( I finally bought a kindle and its wonderful!

  • Sheryl

    Also I doubt there is much of a market to sell the ereader business. Little profit is made on the readers, the profit comes form the books. BN ebooks are already priced higher then most nook books so just WHY would someone buy the Nook business?

  • Wandy

    I can feel the heat and headache that the Kindle Fire is giving to other tablet manufactures!