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Old 06-23-2011, 03:10 AM   #1
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Barnes and Noble Financial results for fiscal year

Surprised this wasn't talked about:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/b...m_medium=email

"Digital Sales Jump at Barnes & Noble, But Retailer Has $74 Million Loss "

The $74 million loss is mainly due to Nook R&D.
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:00 AM   #2
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:35 AM   #3
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I'm not surprised, they've had some financial issues for a couple of years now.

Apparently B&N is feeding a little bit off of the Borders closures, but store revenues still declined to $4.36bn from $4.6bn in 2010.

I wouldn't say "they're doomed," but not much has changed. The open question is how low will store sales drop, and whether B&N can survive the inevitable process of closing a large number of physical stores.
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Old 06-23-2011, 06:41 AM   #4
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It took Sony 4 years to begin to turn a profit on the PS3 gaming system. I'm not bothered by a big hit because of R & D so long as what't being developed does, in the end, sell. And if worst comes to, I dont mind losing some of the physical stores (i have 5 B&N stores within a 25 mile radius) so long as they continue to support the e-platforms.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:48 AM   #5
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There's good way to lose money and bad ways. This is a good way, to use the money to develop a new market. It's like Netflix or Amazon. Netflix is carrying a lot of debt right now. Amazon used to. Amazon recently paid it off. They both used the money to develop their platforms into industry leaders.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:57 AM   #6
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In sligtly unrelated news I am reading a book called In Her Name where the story is set several decades in the future and the characters say that printed books were discontinued years ago due to the fact that they are way too expensive to make, and bring to market. In their Earth all of the books are digital.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:56 PM   #7
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Barnes and Noble didn't lose $74 million on the year due to Nook "R&D". But it did spend a heck of a lot to run the digital side of the business. BN.com, the division which runs the online services (including ordering and shipping physical books, the Nook project and selling e-books), represented 9% of sales but 33% of operating costs. One of the challenges is the margins on Nooks are fairly small vs. selling the actual ebooks.

Even though it collected $7 billion at the till from all business combined for the year (online, retail and college stores), it only had 2.3¢ on every dollar left over after operating costs. It still had interest payments and capital investments which resulted in the loss. Barnes and Noble stopped paying a dividend this year as well to conserve cash to reinvest ... but the business is actually worth less today than it was a year ago.

B&N still has time to fix the business and become profitable -- and there is an offer to buy the business by Liberty Media which presumably would also bring bags of cash to help exploit the Nook. However, by normal measures, B&N is a "sick" company and management has not demonstrated concretely that it has a viable business plan that will reward shareholders in some reasonable time horizon.
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Old 06-25-2011, 02:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jbcohen View Post
In sligtly unrelated news I am reading a book called In Her Name where the story is set several decades in the future and the characters say that printed books were discontinued years ago due to the fact that they are way too expensive to make, and bring to market. In their Earth all of the books are digital.
Not gonna happen, although the paperback novel may go away in the next few decades. It may also switch to a subscription format: Harlequin made its name by selling books only by subscription for a long time, and that's how they kept costs low--they only printed what they'd pre-sold and a small handful of extras; no 20-50% returns to calculate for. I don't think science fiction or "literary" novels can follow that template; there's too much variety in tastes. But genres like mystery, horror, or urban fantasy might be able to make a go at it.

Art books, novelty books, and reference works will continue to be in demand. Children's books, especially with special art options (cut-outs, shiny pictures, textured pieces, doors that open, etc.) will continue to have a market. YA paper books will continue to be sold until minors can legally & easily buy digital content in most places online. And limited-run leather-covered collector's editions will continue to find buyers.
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:23 PM   #9
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A $74m loss on $7bn turnover isn't too terrible. It'll be wiped out by turning just 1% more of that turnover into profit.
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Old 06-25-2011, 03:57 PM   #10
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here's to hoping they can pull through. the readers are a great thing for b&n despite the loss. many customers that complain about not finding what they need, can now find it online 24/7 to instantly d/l. might allow them to open the store up more. if physical media is dying then b&n may die, but i think they are moving in the right direction, and there can never be enough places for a reader to go enjoy a book, especially on his/her ereader.

also, the cafe is great!

Last edited by Ditchleyportrait; 06-26-2011 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 06-26-2011, 01:41 AM   #11
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Would be cool if one can bring in their e-reader to a physical store, browse the physical bookshelf, and using simple magical scanning skills (which would mean camera is needed), purchase the e-book.

If they run out of credits (there should be credits to accumulate that can go towards discounts, they can top up their account using their debit or credit cards at the physical store easily. It's good to entice people into the bookstores regardless; because there lies a different form of temptation to purchase *something* as opposed to that in an online store.

It seems like the the paper book industry might get slaughtered, but there will always be people who like collecting favourites in physical form. Like I'd get the latest CDs for my favourite bands even if I already have a digital copy of the music.

Last edited by Ryvyan; 06-26-2011 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:58 AM   #12
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Would be cool if one can bring in their e-reader to a physical store, browse the physical bookshelf, and using simple magical scanning skills (which would mean camera is needed), purchase the e-book.
Non sense! The thing about ebooks is all about to purchase and read the books you want from anywhere, anytime. If you go into a physical store -- perhaps for nostalgy of paper smell, just like vinyl-lovers are fond of the "warm" sound of the diamond needle scratching the surface -- it might still be more practical to browse the e-store to find what you want.

Quote:
It seems like the the paper book industry might get slaughtered, but there will always be people who like collecting favourites in physical form. Like I'd get the latest CDs for my favourite bands even if I already have a digital copy of the music.
People used to talk the same about LPs against CDs: album cover got smaller. Now it is just an icon. I personally don't care: I'm in for listening to music, not watching covers or videoclips.
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Old 06-26-2011, 09:36 AM   #13
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A $74m loss on $7bn turnover isn't too terrible. It'll be wiped out by turning just 1% more of that turnover into profit.
They need to do considerably better than that to stabilise the company. With same store retail sales growing 3%, and same store college stores declining 3% annually, the only way to increase "turnover into profit" is by cutting costs in meaningful, structural ways. That is much harder to do than it sounds when an industry is already in serious decline.

One thing is reasonably certain: B&N's status at June 2012, and its prospects at that time, are likely to look considerably different than they do today. Better or worse? That's the hard part to predict.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:12 PM   #14
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Would be cool if one can bring in their e-reader to a physical store, browse the physical bookshelf, and using simple magical scanning skills (which would mean camera is needed), purchase the e-book.
I like this idea. Very much.
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Old 06-26-2011, 12:53 PM   #15
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Would be cool if one can bring in their e-reader to a physical store, browse the physical bookshelf, and using simple magical scanning skills (which would mean camera is needed), purchase the e-book.
This is MUCH better accomplished through a cell phone app than trying to make the ereader do this trick. I don't see any point (at this stage anyway) of adding cameras and microphones to ereaders. It increases the manufacturing cost, adds a level of complexity to the software on the device, and doesn't enhance the ereading experience. Adding this to a cellphone app, however, is easy and allows for a simple wifi sync to get the book onto the ereader.
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