Over the past month B&N has been making us wonder whether it was committed to ebooks. First B&N closed its office in Luxembourg, then it relaunched its website with a borked Nook area, and today B&N has removed all doubt.
Barnes & Noble is sending out emails to customers in Europe, sharing the news that they will soon be ex-customers.
You can find the email at the end of this post (translated from Dutch; Thanks, Martjin!) but the short version is that B&N has reiterated the announcement they made last month when they said the Nook Windows 8 app would no longer be available internationally.
B&N is abandoning most of its international customers on 7 August 2015.
The Nook Store had been available in 40 countries, including Australia, much of Europe, Canada, the UK, and the US; on 8 August the Nook Store will only be available in the US and UK (this was confirmed by B&N).
This really comes as no surprise; B&N had only announced its international expansion plans following the 2012 partnership with Microsoft. Outside of the US and UK, the Nook store was only available via the Windows 8 app (which is why I joked that the international store really belonged to Microsoft).
And what with B&N buying out Microsoft's share of Nook Media in December, it's not like we didn't see this coming.
The next question, of course, is where does B&N go from here?
With Nook revenues having fallen to half that of the previous fiscal year ($264 million) and expected to continue declining (authors are already reporting that the malfunctioning website has killed their sales) the odds are very good that B&N is going to throw in the towel on their ebook money pit.
Should that happen, the only question will be whether they will sell the Nook platform or simply shutter their ebook operation.
If Nook users are lucky, B&N will find a buyer. Kobo, for example, could take over the customer accounts just like they did when Sony pulled out of the ebook market last year.
But B&N could still simply close the Nook Store, and there is a chance that incoming B&N CEO Ron Boire might pull a rabbit out of his hat and save the Nook.
We recently announced that Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have agreed to terminate their commercial partnership. As a result, payments through your Microsoft account no longer supported. In addition, the NOOK App for Windows will from August 7, 2015 are no longer available outside the United States. This means that your NOOK content can no longer open on a Windows platform.
Our records indicate that you are outside the United States and that you are using your Microsoft account as a payment method in your NOOK App for Windows account. Therefore, you may be eligible for a refund from Microsoft for any purchases you have made with your Microsoft account.
image by JeepersMedia