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B&N Now Offering $50 Store Credit With New Sales of Nook HD, HD+

nook hd creditRemember when B&N announced that new purchases of a Nook HD+ would come with a $50 store credit? Many bloggers took that as a sign that B&N was having an especially hard time selling their 9″ media device – more so than the 7″ Nook HD. But if the email I received today is any indication, that is no longer true.

It looks like sales of the Nook HD may have dropped in the past month because Barnes & Noble sent out an email today with another sales offer for their hardware (the 3rd such offer this year, in fact). This email went to registered customers, and not a press email blast, so it might not get much attention. But it is a fairly important story nonetheless.

B&N is now offering some Nook owners a $25 B&N store credit if they can convince a new customer to buy a Nook HD or HD+. The new buyer also gets a $25 credit:

nook hd credit

Can you imagine how much trouble B&N must be having in trying to sell their media devices? They just effectively reduced the amount they’re getting for the Nook HD to $150. This device was already being sold at or near what B&N paid to have it made, and now they have to drop the price even more.

Update: A reader has pointed out that B&N has been running this program since 14 March, and according to the B&N Nook blog the only news today is that the store credit has been increased. Ouch. Things are even worse than I thought.

This is also not a good sign that B&N has a plan for how to dig their way out of this hole. What they’ve done today is pretty much the same rebate sale that they’ve offered in the past. That is arguably a sign that B&N is going to keep repeating the mistakes that got them into this mess (shrinking hardware sales, shrinking market share).

Without a viable turnaround plan the Nook platform and hardware is on its way out, so I’m not sure this deal is a deal at all. But if you are interested, you can find more details here.


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flyingtoastr April 8, 2013 um 12:01 pm

BN has been doing a "recruit a friend" promotion since March 16th.

Swing and a miss!

Nate Hoffelder April 8, 2013 um 12:36 pm

It’s actually been running since 14 March, and I think that adds support for my point. It sure as hades doesn’t weaken my post.

Robert Nagle April 8, 2013 um 1:10 pm

So is the 25 + 25 in addition to the $50 worth of store credit? I couldn’t quite figure it out.


Nate Hoffelder April 8, 2013 um 1:17 pm

That is the $50.

Paul April 8, 2013 um 1:20 pm

It used to cost AOL $230 to get a new member to sign up, so from that perspective that’s probably a cheap sign up deal.

I’m wondering when we’ll see a move to the Windows platform through microsoft’s investment, as there’s a number of UI flaws that need to be fixed on the Nook (despite its superior reading experience against the Kindle Fire HD).

Doug April 8, 2013 um 3:16 pm

I don’t think it’s breaking news that NOOK Media has a lot of HD and HD+ tablets they need to sell. In the investors' conference call at the end of February, CFO Michael Huseby said, "there’s a lot of inventory that’s been built that we’ll be selling into fiscal year and through fiscal year ’14 that’s already been paid for." What kind of inventory? Well, CEO William Lynch said, "Q3 revenue and earnings shortfall across the company was almost entirely a function of our missing sales targets for our 2 new NOOK tablet devices."

So it sounds to me like B&N’s got about a year’s supply of HD and HD+ tablets to move.

steve April 9, 2013 um 12:11 pm

IDC estimated that B&N shipped about a million Tablets for Q4 of 2013. Assuming that’s approximately right. Normally they might be able to get rid of 60-70% of that, but in this case, the percentage is probably rather worse, which means that they exited the holiday season with upwards of 500,000 tablets to get rid of.

At the same time, e-ink ereaders are not selling all that well. That buy a tablet and get a NOOK Simple Touch free suggests that there is some inventory to work off there as well.

Re: Nate. I do not see how it is a strategy mistake to get rid of the inventory once you have it. (Whether this kind of device focused strategy is a good idea is a different topic.) The device is useless if its sitting on a store shelf and not in the hands of a customer. I’m not sure where you find the fault exactly in this kind of discounting behavior.

Nate Hoffelder April 9, 2013 um 12:23 pm

Wouldn’t it be better to make the device more appealing by making it more open? They could let us install apps. This adds value without actually taking $50 out of B&N’s pocket.

fjtorres April 9, 2013 um 1:12 pm

BoGo puts two devices in one pair of hands an writes off the cost of the freebie–selling the STR dirt cheap reduces the loss and might bring in new customers for ebooks.
Essentially, they are saying nobody wants to buy the things at any price.

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