Following yesterday’s announcement that Amazon is expanding its same-day delivery program, Google and Barnes & Noble are joining forces to compete with their rival. Starting today, book buyers in selected urban areas can opt for same-day deliveries from local Barnes & Noble stores for orders placed through Google Shopping Express.
As its brick-and-mortar sales continue to decline, Barnes & Noble desperately needs to up its digital game to meet the shifting purchasing habits of book lovers and save itself from the threats posed by Amazon’s current dominance in online book shopping. How this alliance would challenge the online book market is still too early to tell, but it’s only logical that Google is now B&N’s new best friend.
The bad news for the Nook continues to flow, but Barnes & Noble doesn’t seem to care. According to the company, the Nook’s revenue declined more than 20% to $153 million, and overall the company reported a net loss of $87 million. The bookseller said that the Nook revenue loses were due to “lower unit selling volume” as well as dwindling ebook sales. But the company is going to bulk up its line regardless, and stick with the Nook for the time being; their goal is to release one new Nook device by the holiday season. Whether it’s enough to bring the widely-regarded failure of a product back into relevancy will be important to watch.
Recognizing competition from digital competitors Amazon and Apple, bookseller Barnes & Noble has announced it will close 1/3 of its stores at a rate of 20 stores a year for the next decade. This hardly comes as a surprise as tablets and e-readers like the Apple iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire become increasingly ubiquitous, and digital continues to encroach on print markets. The strategy is expected to increase demand for Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-readers, which saw shrinking sales last quarter.
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