When Barnes & Noble started taking the Nook kiosks out of its stores this summer, they moved the hardware to the customer service desk and put up big signs that promoted Nook hardware and B&N’s ebook platform.
Now those signs have come down.
I was at a Barnes & Noble today while waiting for a vet visit to wind up, and I noticed that the signs over the customer service desk no longer mention the Nook. Now one promotes picking up online orders in B&N stores, and the other generically recommends the hottest new releases.
Yes, the hardware was still there, but you would have to look closely to spot it, kinda like you would have to look carefully at B&N’s quarterly SEC filings to spot any mention of B&N’s Nook revenues.
The Nook revenues weren’t mentioned in either the press release or earnings call in the most recent quarter, but the 10-Q report showed that Barnes & Noble sold $21.7 million in ebooks and hardware in the quarter ending 27 October.
That is a steep decline from the Nook’s heyday of 2010 to 2012, when the Nook occupied prime real estate at the front of B&N stores, when B&N was even talking about rebuilding stores to give them a whole Nook department.
Interestingly enough, B&N’s plans shrank with Nook revenues. They’ve abandoned their large concept stores in favor of stores with footprints not much larger than the Nook dept in the Fredericksburg store.
The store planned for Fairfax, VA, for example, is listed at 8,630 square feet. In comparison, at its peak B&N stores exceeded forty thousand square feet.
Those larger stores are mostly closing now as their leases expire, a relic of a different era.