Remember when Borders closed up shop and it was feared that Barnes and Noble would be next? Shortly after, Barnes and Noble introduced the Nook. It kept their business open and thriving and even managed to penetrate other markets with their fancy new e-reader.

 

E Book ReaderThere is a battle in the e-business world that has always kept my attention: the battle between the Kindle and the Nook. I used to think that the battle would be won by Barnes and Noble, for two reasons: 1) live customer service teams ready to field queries from customers, and 2) physical store locations for customers to easily “try out” the product before making a decision about whether to buy or not. Although the Kindle is sold at stores like Best Buy, a physical Kindle store does not exist. I felt this was a big flaw in Amazon’s marketing of their Kindle product.

 

 

This prediction did not hold up, as we now know that sales for the Kindle has been increasing year over year, relative to sales for the Nook. Barnes and Noble tried to mitigate the effects of its declining sales by increasing e-book prices on the Nook.  However, Barnes and Noble still appears to be loosing the battle, given their recent sales numbers relative to the Kindle business.

 

Amidst these issues, Barnes and Noble has been forced to lay off a number of its employees, including its Nook hardware engineers and VP of Hardware.  When asked about these layoffs, a Barnes and Noble spokesperson told Business Insider:

“We’ve been very clear about our focus on rationalizing the NOOK business and positioning it for future success and value creation. As we’ve aligned NOOK’s cost structure with business realities, staffing levels in certain areas of our organization have changed, leading to some job eliminations. We’re not going to comment specifically on those eliminations.”

As Barnes and Noble tries to compete for a sizable chunk of the e-readers business, the future still looks bleak for them, particularly in contrast to Amazon’s Kindle and other successful players in the marketplace.

 

Do you think Barnes and Noble can turn this around? Or do you think Kindle is finally going to throw the winning punch and monopolize the eReader business? Comment below or tweet me @kateeb790!