I was bite by the “I’m too busy” bug the last couple of weeks and haven’t had time to put up a News and Views article, but hopefully you’ll all forgive me as I attempt to get back into the swing of things.
This week, let’s turn our eyes to Barnes & Noble and the companies ongoing struggle to avoid the fate of Borders Books. After the departure of former CEO William Lynch in June, B&N basically decided not to go through with any of the agenda he had spearheaded. This meant an about face on the plan to outsource the production of the Nook Tablet or split the Nook business from the brick and mortar bookstore business creating two separate companies. Unfortunately, B&N lost $87 million dollars last quarter, and investors seem unwilling to continue on the Barnes & Noble rollercoaster as the stock price has lost about 20% in the last week.
The problems with the bookseller are myriad. The lack of consistent leadership in recent years has been troubling as Barnes & Noble stumbles its way into the future of bookselling. Barnes & Noble has mishandled the Nook line in the past and is suffering for it now. They’ve also apparently committed themselves to a course which involves continuing to suffer for decisions of the past. The bookstores themselves continue to chug along, although the chain is much dimensioned with fewer and fewer physical locations.
But what do you think? Is Barnes & Noble doomed to irrelevance from past problems? Or will the company be able to rebound and build back the empire it once possessed?