Barnes & Noble will stop manufacturing its NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ tablets, marking the end of its attempt to compete with rivals Amazon.com Apple and Google.
The U.S. bookstore chain reported dismal results on Tuesday, led by a 34 percent drop in sales of Nook devices and e-books business, and said it expects sales to continue to decline this fiscal year at its bookstores.
The company plans to significantly reduce losses in the NOOK segment by limiting risks associated with manufacturing. Going forward, Barnes & Noble intends to continue to design eReading devices and reading platforms, while creating a partnership model for manufacturing in the competitive color tablet market. Thus, the Simple Touch and Glowlight products will continue to be developed in house, and the company's tablet line will be co-branded with yet to be announced third party manufacturers of consumer electronics products. At the same time, the company intends to continue to build its digital catalog, adding eBooks every week, and launching new NOOK Apps.
The company will continue to offer its existing inventory of its NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ devices through the holiday.
"Our Retail and College businesses delivered strong financial performances in fiscal year 2013," said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. "We are taking big steps to reduce the losses in the NOOK segment, as we move to a partner-centric model in tablets and reduce overhead costs. We plan to continue to innovate in the single purpose black-and-white eReader category, and the underpinning of our strategy remains the same today as it has since we first entered the digital market, which is to offer customers any digital book, magazine or newspaper, on any device."
Barnes & Noble launched the first version of the Nook e-reader in 2009 to take on Amazon.com's Kindle and secure a place in the e-books market.