While the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire filled many a stocking this holiday season, it appears the Barnes & Noble Nook was largely left out in the cold.
According to data released today by Barnes & Noble, sales of Nook products took a tumble during the nine-week period ending Dec. 29.
The company's retail arm, which includes the brick-and-mortar stores and BN.com businesses, dropped 10.9 percent over the same time period in 2011. Barnes & Noble blamed the slump on an 8 percent decline in comparable store sales and closures, as well as lower online sales. The Nook segment, meanwhile, "fell short of the company's expectations," Barnes & Noble said, dropping 12.6 percent. While sales of digital content - like apps, e-books, and magazines - were up 13.1 percent, Nook device sales "declined during the holiday period as compared to the prior year," the company said, without elaborating.
"We entered the holiday with two great new products, Nook HD and Nook HD+, both highly rated media tablets of phenomenal quality," B&N CEO William Lynch said in a statement. "Nook device sales got off to a good start over the Black Friday period, but then fell short of expectations for the balance of holiday. We are examining the root cause of the December shortfall in sales, and will adjust our strategies accordingly going forward."
Though Barnes & Noble expanded its Nook retail presence by selling tthe tablets at Walmart, tthe Nook couldn't compete with the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. One drawback might be the lack of available content. Though Barnes & Noble is pushing ahead with the Microsoft-backed Nook Media and the Nook Video Store, it still falls short when compared to Amazon's huge inventory of books and movies and Apple's App Store.
Barnes & Noble now expects fiscal 2013 Nook Media revenues to reach about $3 billion, a loss compared to fiscal 2012. Second quarter results are expected to be announced by mid-February.