I'm neither pro nor con to B&N or Nook, but those who are interested may not have noticed this article off of Newsweek's site:
The bookseller's Nook e-reader has earned some good reviews, but the stiff competition is one reason for the gloomy income statement the company released this week: Barnes & Noble lost $32 million in the quarter ending May 1, compared to a $2 million loss during the same period last year.
The company emphasized how much its share of the digital book market had grown since it released the Nook last November-a spike from 2 percent to 20 percent, it said. "In just a brief 12 months since we launched the Barnes and Noble ebookstore, our share of the digital market already exceeds our share of the retail book market," Lynch said in the earnings statement.
But the company's public statements have been short on details about how exactly it will continue to grow that market share. Meanwhile, it still has 775 costly brick-and-mortar stores (as of October 2009) to maintain nationwide. As a Standard & Poors analyst told the Wall Street Journal, "closing stores would make sense," especially if digital sales keep growing. Barnes & Noble is smart to throw resources at digital distribution, and its Nook certainly has Amazon's attention. But its 12-month-old e-bookstore and 8-month-old Nook may have come too late to the game.
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