Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) has lately been suffering in various areas of its business, leading some to question if the nation’s largest book retailer will soon follow in the defunct Borders Group’s footsteps.
The retailer’s Nook e-reader hasn’t been able to stand up to competition from Amazon.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle and Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. Barnes & Noble’s digital unit has suffered huge losses on the Nook tablet, prompting the company to stop production of the Nook color touchscreen tablet. Barnes & Noble has been dumping money into the development of the Nook in an attempt to keep up with Amazon, but Nook sales have fallen while Kindle sales continue to grow.
The retailer’s core business — selling physical books — has declined as well. Barnes & Noble stores are stocking fewer titles and giving more space to games and other merchandise with high profit margins. While this may be effective for the company’s short-term bottom line, publishers are worried the move could drive even more book lovers to shop on Amazon, rather than visit a physical book store.