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Barnes & Noble is Removing Nook Kiosks From Stores

A couple sources have told me, and I have confirmed first hand, that B&N has removed the Nook kiosks that used to occupy prime square footage in most Barnes & Noble stores.

Existing Nook hardware has been moved to the customer service desk towards the rear of the store, and the Nook kiosks have been replaced by a display featuring new releases.

I have seen this myself in a couple stores, including my local B&N in Manassas VA, which used to have a Nook kiosk right where this island now sits.

My local B&N has had that kiosk since at least 2011. It was installed back when the focal point of B&N’s digital strategy (when it had one) was to put the Nook front and center in all of its stores.

They installed honking huge kiosks directly in front of the entries to most of its stores which looked something like this:

This was a great idea right up until the Nook imploded during the 2012 holiday season, and ever since then the kiosks have been an embarrassing reminder of B&N’s failure.

Now the kiosks are being removed, and the Nook relegated to an afterthought on the customer service counter.

Frankly, at this point, that is where it belongs.

B&N’s ebook division has been mismanaged for so long that it only generated $111 million in revenue last fiscal year. At its peak it saw revenues of over a billion and a half dollars each fiscal year and thus deserved being the center of attention, but that hasn’t been true for a long time.

images by B&N, me, and CandyTX via Flickr

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Dilsia August 23, 2018 um 1:23 pm

I have a Nook, so no e-books from Barnes and Noble anymore?

Disgusting Dude August 23, 2018 um 4:49 pm

They haven’t shut down the online store.
No need to worry: Kobo will happily sell you epubs. And they just partnered with Walmart. They’ll even give you a $10 credit on tbe first order.

Dilsia August 23, 2018 um 1:24 pm

How the B&N e-book division was mismanaged?

Disgusting Dude August 23, 2018 um 4:50 pm

Do you really want to know the gory details?
It ain’t pretty…
Nate has documented their 93 screwups…

RL August 23, 2018 um 3:46 pm

It happened about 2-3 weeks ago at my local Barnes and Noble store. It belongs there since they no longer dedicate enough personnel to provide service in that section. They can still stay in the game: Kobo has a small US presence and Amazon is only online. They just need to offer a Nook GL3 that is 7.8 inches like Kobo. (My two cents.)

Nate Hoffelder August 23, 2018 um 4:15 pm

A friend told me on Twitter that their B&N lost the kiosk over a week ago.

Disgusting Dude August 23, 2018 um 4:46 pm

Kobo just partnered with Walmart.
The ebook store store opened for business yesterday.

And since Nook readers open Kobo epubs just fine…

Suz August 23, 2018 um 4:17 pm

They need to – agreed – but they never will unless Kobo buys them out and you can read Nook books on the Kobo. They should just throw in the towel. I was a big Nook supporter but with their history I just don’t will not invest anymore money into them.

RL August 23, 2018 um 7:15 pm

Maybe B&N needs to sell Kobo in their stores. It would benefit both Kobo and B&N. Kobo needs places to sell their products, and B&N needs to sell a product (and has physical book stores).

This move would really put Kobo in the public’s eye. Wal-mart may sell a lot of everything, but they have their own brand of tablets that cost less than a 6 inch Kobo product. That may not work out well for Kobo.

RL August 23, 2018 um 7:19 pm

Nook should just bring back updated versions of the Nook HD+ and HD. (Updated: lighter, current Android OS, and better batteries.) By now, I would have expected B&N to add another of their own Android tablets to their list of products. They would probably cost less, too.

I still use my Nook HD and HD+.

Diahanne August 24, 2018 um 8:30 am

I live in medford oregon. I just bought my second nook. Haven’t owned a "computer" for 10 years or more. I LOVE my nook. The last one I owned for almost 5 years. Had to replace since the battery would not hold the charge. I wishthe battery could of just been replaced. Our staff at B and N is VERY helpful and smart about the Nooks.

Brenda Foust August 24, 2018 um 9:18 am

I love my nooks.
I have three nooks. I use my nooks everyday. I have over 3000 books and read all the time I can. A different book on each nook. Everytime I have any questions they are able to help.

Jan August 24, 2018 um 9:54 am

I was in the BN in St. Cloud, MN the other day. No Nook kiosk up front where it used to be. I haven’t been in that store in quite a while so I was surprised. Seasonal items are there now, and Nooks are at the customer service counter halfway back.

Brian Schaefer August 24, 2018 um 10:35 am

Since the Nook counter was relocated a couple of months back, my first thought is: if you would have gone to Barnes & Noble a little more often than every few months you would have known this and B&N might be a more stable and successful company.

Amanda August 24, 2018 um 11:49 am

All of the new Nook Tablets are supported by the Google Play Store and so you get books through there and the Kindle App. It was a smart move for them. I have had several Nooks over the years that I share with family. I also always have the Nook app on my phone. It’s been good to me. I see the change as a good one personally. Why take up prime real estate for something where you purchase the books online, you’ll probably purchase the technology online…

Nate Hoffelder August 24, 2018 um 11:57 am

No, B&N didn’t add Google Play until after their sales started to crash. They shut the barn door after the horse had left, and it did not stop the subsequent stampede.

Allen F August 24, 2018 um 1:03 pm

@ RL

"Maybe B&N needs to sell Kobo in their stores."

Kobo doesn’t dare at this point, they’d have too much to lose when (not if) B&N goes bankrupt …

Linda August 24, 2018 um 4:42 pm

So many readers with Nook out there seems like Kobo is missing out by not partnering with Barnes they can reach that market that is looking for a new reader

Albert John Nguyen August 24, 2018 um 8:33 pm

To give you an idea of the lack of investment and thought, Hooters magazine was sold through the Nook. All they did was scan the magazine. I had a hard time reading the articles, yes I do read the articles. Now compare this to the 2014 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, the epitome of a digital magazine; embedded videos and links. It was more than a magazine it was an experience.

In my opinion BN was sitting on a gold mine, they had a platform with DRM, loyal customers, and a hugh inventory. The energy felt like it dissipated.

Gilbert D Baron August 25, 2018 um 6:21 am

Kindle is really the only reasonable ereader system now. Nook has been worthless for years. Kindle device and Kindle apps far exceed all others.

RL August 26, 2018 um 1:06 pm

B&N needs some leaders with some IT and business knowledge. Having the GL3 on special and selling the eBooks at lower prices helps keep customers.
If they want to take a shortcut and make money, they just have to sell their tablets with the Kindle and Kobo apps pre-installed.

Jeremy Bouma August 27, 2018 um 9:09 am

I noticed this in the primary store in Grand Rapids, MI a month ago. I was so confused, wondering if they had finally axed the beleaguered ereader, only to discover them tucked as an afterthought at the customer service station. It’s demise is most imminent. What a shame, as the original Nook was the first ereader I purchased.

Rhyta September 9, 2018 um 3:24 am

The Nook is a great ereader, I have several Simple Touch with Glowlights and they still work great. I agree B&N has botched their chance with e-readers but I don’t think Kindle is for me, I don’t like having to pay not to see ads or when I checkout from the library having Amazon see what I have chosen. I just won’t use it so if I have to use a kobo eventually I will but no Amazon thank you

Kimberly December 27, 2018 um 4:32 pm

This is a LATE response as I am only discovering it now. But I was an avid Nook supporter from when the first Nook came out, and I stopped after purchasing the Nook Simple Touch…but after MUCH thought and wanting to get back into reading now that I am officially graduated from school with my degree and am working full-time. I decided to move over and purchase a Kobo H2O Edition 2 e-reader, and it SUCKS that Nook e-books are DRM protected so you can’t transfer them over. I do hope IF and WHEN they no longer sell Nooks, they will find a way to let us read it on other devices. I spent an entire HOUR this morning trying to salvage my old Nook books I spent a lot of money on over the years!

Pam Svoboda October 19, 2019 um 9:57 am

The employees at Barnes and Noble don’t know how to get the Nook Books to work. The store should hire a sales person who is knowledgeable about Nook Books only.

Inside the Barnes & Noble Manassas Store (Post-Covid) | The Digital Reader July 23, 2020 um 1:19 pm

[…] Very little has changed in that store in the ten years or so that I’ve been visiting*. The layout has stayed essentially the same, with the only major change being the withering of the Nook displays as Barnes & Noble’s digital division declined. (Up until 2014 the Nook displays occupied tables right inside the entrance and to the right of the Nook kiosk. First the Nook displays were removed from the tables, and then in the summer of 2018 the kiosk was removed.) […]

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