Barnes & Noble Founder Wants to Buy Retail Business, Dump Nook
Barnes & Noble has managed to survive where one-time rivals like Borders couldn't, but the world's largest brick-and-mortar bookseller may experience a shake-up of its own soon. The company announced Monday that founder Leonard Riggio hopes to purchase Barnes & Noble's retail business and take it private while leaving behind its floundering Nook division.
Riggio, the chain's founder, largest stockholder, and chairman of the company's board, is looking to buy both the Barnes & Noble Booksellers brick-and-mortar business and Barnesandnoble.com, according to an SEC filing.
The company's e-book, e-reader, and tablet division, Nook Media, would apparently be spun off or possibly even shut down if the deal comes to pass. The Barnes & Noble board's strategic committee must still review the plan and the company said in a statement that there is no timetable for that happening yet.
If a deal is approved, the purchase price would be negotiated with the board and would likely be made primarily in cash, the company said. A Barnes & Noble spokesperson declined to comment further.
The Nook debuted in late 2009 as serious competition for the Amazon Kindle, but with an influx of tablet-based devices in recent years, Barnes & Noble's lineup of gadgets got lost in the shuffle. The Kindle remains the top-selling dedicated e-reader, and Apple's iPad reigns over the tablet competition, the New York Times pointed out.
Barnes & Noble Cuts Price on Simple Touch E-Reader
Barnes & Noble's price drops continue.
We reported last month that the company was taking a scalpel to the cost of its older Nook Tablet and Nook Color. Well, the surgery session to prices of Barnes & Noble's lineup of handheld reading devices isn't quite done yet.
Barnes & Noble is now cutting around $20 off the price of its simpler, er, Simple Touch – not quite a tablet so much as it is a straight-up e-reader, and it's the company's entry-level device to boot. That means that you aren't going to get an illuminated screen for scanning through all your favorite holiday titles in the dark, but the now-$79, 6.5-by-5-inch device now becomes even more competitive against Amazon's touchscreen-lacking Kindle reader (at $69 or $89).
And, as Barnes & Noble makes a point to note in its press release announcing the price drop, its Simple Touch e-reader does have another compelling feature that might almost be worth the $10 difference from Amazon's lowest-price Kindle: No special offers.
"Previously available at the low price of $99 and always without distracting ads, NOOK Simple Touch is now available for only $79, making it a must-have deal this holiday season for anyone who loves to read," reads Barnes & Noble's announcement.
Cyber Monday Is ‘Biggest Day Ever’ for Amazon Kindle Sales
Cyber Monday was the "biggest day ever" for Kindle sales worldwide, Amazon announced on Tuesday morning.
As usual, the online retail giant didn't reveal exact sales numbers, but it said Kindle device sales between Black Friday and Cyber Monday were more than double the record set during the same time period last year. In Dec. 2011, Amazon said consumers were purchasing Kindle devices at a rate of more than 1 million per week.
To celebrate Cyber Monday Amazon yesterday slashed the price of its $159 Kindle Fire to $129. Amazon said "customers flocked to the deal."
"We're excited that customers made this Black Friday and Cyber Monday the best ever for Kindle worldwide … and we're looking forward to millions of customers opening a new Kindle this holiday season," Dave Limp, vice president of Amazon Kindle, said in a statement.
Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets have held the top four spots on Amazon's worldwide best sellers list since launch, Amazon said. In addition, the Kindle Fire HD is the most gifted and "wished for" product on Amazon since its launch, meaning it's added to customers' wish lists and registries, and ordered as a gift, more than any other product on the site.
Report: New Barnes & Noble Nook Coming This Spring
Less than a month after the announcement that Barnes & Noble is considering spinning off its Nook business comes a rumor that the company is working on a new Nook device.
In a Sunday article detailing Barnes & Noble's battle with Amazon, the New York Times hinted at a new e-reader that could appear within the next few months.
"Barnes & Noble is trying to strike at Amazon with another device," the article reads. "At its labs in Silicon Valley last week, engineers were putting final touches on their fifth e-reading device, a product that executives said would be released sometime this spring. (A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman declined to elaborate)."
Barnes & Noble did not immediately respond to questions from PCMag. It's unclear whether the gadget would be another e-reader or a tablet.
It's possible B&N will slough off the Nook section of its business soon. CEO William Lynch said earlier this month that the company believes "it's the right time to investigate [its] options to unlock [the value]" of the Nook brand.
New Barnes & Noble Nook Color on Nov. 7?
Will Barnes & Noble beat Amazon to market with a new color device? According to a report from The Digital Reader, the retailer will release an updated Nook on November 7.
Citing sources within Barnes & Noble, the blog said the company is planning a big launch on that date, though he had few details about what the new product might entail. One individual, who works in a Barnes & Noble store, told The Digital Reader that they have replaced a customer service counter with a huge Nook boutique.
"Our manager told us, this space was not designed to house just 2 nooks. He was being candid, he said, November 7th there will be a major announcement from the company. he concluded saying it was exciting times. Obviously something is coming," the source said. Another employee told the blog the same thing.
Barnes & Noble did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Barnes & Noble Unveils Smaller, Lighter Nook E-Reader
Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled a revamped Nook e-reader, dubbed the Simple Touch Reader.
The $139 device is available for pre-order immediately and will be in stores on or around June 10 at Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Walmart, and Staples.
The Android-based, e-reader measures 5 x 6.5 inches and weighs less than 7.5 ounces, which is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the first Nook. During a New York launch event, B&N CEO William Lynch promised the "longest battery life of any e-reader," or up to two months on a single charge, and 80 percent less flashing on the 6-inch touch screen; the white-out that occurs when flipping pages. There is 50 percent less contrast than the first-edition Nook.
Amazon Kindle 3G Coming to AT&T Stores March 6
AT&T announced Monday that it will start selling the Amazon Kindle 3G in its retail stores nationwide starting March 6.
AT&T will include the Kindle in its connected devices section. The Kindle 3G will connect to the Web over Wi-Fi and AT&T's 3G network, allowing users to wirelessly download books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs on the 6-inch device. It sells for $189 and can hold up to 3,500 books.
"Amazon has without question pioneered the eReader space with Kindle, and it's exciting to not only connect this device through our network, but now offer it in our stores to readers around the country," Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices at AT&T, said in a statement. "As the first dedicated eReader offered in our stores, we are confident the Kindle will be an attractive addition to our in store connected devices lineup."