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Old 01-06-2013, 03:17 PM   #121
Kali Yuga
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
They still have a lot of Nook equity value to fritter away.
The Nook business has no "equity."

The Nook project has never turned a profit. If it was spun off today, it'd have a handful of assets and massive debts.


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Originally Posted by fjtorres
Since Nook started with a valuation of US$1.8 Billion (on a basis of 25% of the US ebook market)...
That's not its "valuation." That's a wild guess.

B&N's current valuation -- its real valuation, also known as market cap -- is $800 million. It's been bouncing around the $1 billion mark since 2009. That's the Nook division and the stores.


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Originally Posted by fjtorres
it'll take even the Riggio gang a few years to burn through the rest of the $600 million Microsoft money and the $90 million Pearson money.
Try "three years" -- assuming they get the second half of the investment, instead of getting bought out by Microsoft.

The Nook business alone currently burns $50 million a quarter, and got worse instead of better in Q4.


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Originally Posted by fjtorres
Plus however much they can get out of the Random Penguin, HCSS, and the rest of the BPHs.
The only thing they can "get out" of big pubs is more lenient credit terms. If the big pubs invest in B&N, they'd be facing a major antitrust challenge with a DOJ hostile to the publishers.


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Originally Posted by fjtorres
Assuming their marke share actually dropped to 20%....
If the Nook business loses ground, it won't be worth jack. Microsoft will pick it up for a song, and integrate it into its mobile platform.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:22 PM   #122
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Pearson bought 5% of Nook Media for $90 million the same week the bad news dropped. Unless they ask for their money back, that is the valuation the 5% share will carry on *their* books.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:47 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by PatNY View Post
The closed platform certainly didn't help, did it?
It didn't hurt. Remember, people were buying Nooks as a cheap tablet from day 1.


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Originally Posted by PatNY
And while the B&N app is available on other platforms, people have to go out of their way to DL it...
People also have to go "out of their way" to purchase Angry Birds. It's not an impediment.


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Originally Posted by PatNY
What I don't get is that you dismiss every suggestion by everyone on how B&N might start to at least turn the corner.
Actually, I'm pointing out the flaws in the analyses by various posters, and recognizing that B&N has in fact executed fairly well.

In addition, many suggestions -- e.g. fire senior management, go international -- would just make things worse. Much, much worse.


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Originally Posted by PatNY
Yet you make no suggestion of your own. Are you saying they should just stick with the same old strategy and wait to die?
Pretty much.

My guess is that the college store business will survive (for awhile, at least) and Microsoft will wind up with the Nook business, and integrate it into their mobile platform.


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Originally Posted by PatNY
Even if steps are successful in only helping them turn the corner but they eventually fail, isn't that at least the better road to take? Try some things new?
They're already doing everything that could possibly work.

They're developing the Nook in-house. They're making a good product. Unlike the transition to online book sales, they recognized very early that ebooks would be huge, and have kept their focus. They stayed in when Sony got sidelined. They resolved their proxy fight. They had at least a year where neither Amazon nor Apple was unable to out-discount them on books. They got a huge shot in the arm from Microsoft, which probably bought them a few years. They've watched Amazon irritate customers (*cough* 1984) and publicly feud with the big publishers. They've seen Apple draw the wrath of the DOJ over agency pricing.

It's not enough.


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Originally Posted by PatNY
Maybe there is no one single error that is a "show-stopper" by itself. But if you take all their missteps and add them together, well then it may ultimately stop the show.
If we were discussing Borders, I'd agree with you.

But ultimately, the problem here isn't a failure to execute. It's that the task itself almost certainly can't be done.

In order to succeed, they have to cannibalize their own business, damage their brand by closing stores and/or selling goods that make no sense to sell in a bookstore, and incur massive losses in creating an ebook business.

Meanwhile, their biggest competitor is actually a database company thinly disguised as an online store, which can sell whatever it wants to everyone on the planet. Its second biggest competitor sells at least $35 billion in hardware every quarter, and is happy to sell content as a loss leader.

Borders couldn't do it; UK bookstores aren't having much luck; Blockbuster can't do it; music chains like Tower didn't even try.

I salute their attempts to go down fighting, but yeah, I'm pretty sure they are roadkill.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:49 PM   #124
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...the big bosses pretend they have a strategy, but really they are only holding on to their big salaries and driving up their pensions while pretending to their stockholders and stakeholders that they are making smart moves.
The Riggio family are major stockholders, and have been involved in B&N for a long, long time. When the stock price falls, so does their net worth.

Whatever their flaws, they aren't doing what you're talking about.
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Old 01-06-2013, 07:56 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post

My guess is that the college store business will survive (for awhile, at least) and Microsoft will wind up with the Nook business, and integrate it into their mobile platform.

I salute their attempts to go down fighting, but yeah, I'm pretty sure they are roadkill.
In the college town close to me, the last Independent College Book Store just closed and the space is for lease. There have been at least 2 independent stores in years past.

Probably still have the University Store at the student center. (Parking is bad.)

A shame. I liked to browse through the out of date textbooks, and buy a dirt cheap one now and then, on interesting subjects.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:21 AM   #126
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Barnes & Noble did recently expand ebook sales to the United Kingdom, but I doubt we'll see much (if any) worldwide expansion beyond that.
They recently added foreign language support to their iOS app - notably European languages of countries with an Amazon Kindle presence, which struck me as interesting. They may be planning something.
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Old 01-07-2013, 12:01 PM   #127
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They recently added foreign language support to their iOS app - notably European languages of countries with an Amazon Kindle presence, which struck me as interesting. They may be planning something.
Portions of the Microsoft money are tied to them expanding the Nook line to more geographies.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:20 PM   #128
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It is frankly hard to think of anything that they should do that would make a huge difference now, but easy to think of things that they should have done.
Part of this is that, to my thinking, the steps they should have taken were not entirely in their control. Ideally, I think B&N should have offered package deals with in-store purchases: "For just a few dollars more, you can get an electronic version of your book!" Publishers however probably wouldn't offer discounts so B&N would have to absorb the cost differential between the discount price and the actual price.

Something else they should have done, and still could do, is offer some incentive for buying things in the brick and mortar store, that would build up a discount for the Nook store. Maybe spend $100 in the store over time, get a free ebook. Make it part of the B&N membership program, and reduce the annual fee. Or make it so that if you spend above a certain threshold, you get a free renewal for the following year.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:28 PM   #129
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well, another anecdote to add to the "bad customer service from B&N" aspect of why they're not doing so well ...

I'm starting to get suspicious of whether their inventory tracking system is working. But I try the third store. My last option.

[...]

I call the store. I ask to speak to a manager, who tells me it's B&N corporate policy thate [sic] refuses to let them tell the customer if they are reserving a damaged book. So they apparently knew they were trying to trick me into buying a damaged book. We talk for about 15 minutes. She's unapologetic. She just keeps repeating that the corporate poicy [sic] says they're not allowed to tell the customer the condition of the book if the book is reserved, and this is a hazard.
Well, unless something radically changed since I left B&N 3 years ago, there is no such corporate policy. Sounds like they were handing you a line. Which is just as bad, come to think of it.

As to the inventory system being off, there are 1000s of items it has to keep track of. Once things are on the sales floor, it is easy for things to get misplaced. Items do get misshelved, browsed to other places, and >gasp< stolen.

The sad thing in all of this is that the real corporate policy seems to be to give the stores alot of latitude, as long as they are making their sales projections and are under on hours. Everything else, including attitude and service, is up for negotiation.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:10 PM   #130
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From what I read, in the UK Amazon's price-slashing tactics are powered by tax-evasion. Is it the same in the USA? And does B&N pay tax?

A quick google suggests that B&N do not evade tax like Amazon. For shame.

Last edited by Rizla; 01-08-2013 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:40 PM   #131
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From what I read, in the UK Amazon's price-slashing tactics are powered by tax-evasion. Is it the same in the USA? And does B&N pay tax?

A quick google suggests that B&N do not evade tax like Amazon. For shame.
From a purely economic point of view, corporate tax should be as low as possible, ideally 0%.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:54 PM   #132
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BN has brick and mortar stores/HQ in all the states. You have to have a brick and mortar store/HQ in the state to be required to collect state taxes. Amazon is limited in the number of places it has a brick and mortar presence and as such does not have to collect the sales tax. Individuals are suppose to report their internet purchases on the state tax form so they can pay those taxes.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:01 PM   #133
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BN has brick and mortar stores/HQ in all the states. You have to have a brick and mortar store/HQ in the state to be required to collect state taxes. Amazon is limited in the number of places it has a brick and mortar presence and as such does not have to collect the sales tax. Individuals are suppose to report their internet purchases on the state tax form so they can pay those taxes.
Yes, they are evading tax and artificially lowering their prices.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:02 PM   #134
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From a purely economic point of view, corporate tax should be as low as possible, ideally 0%.
That's a very right-wing comment.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:37 PM   #135
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Yes, they are evading tax and artificially lowering their prices.
How is following the law, evading taxes? They are not required to collect those taxes unless they have a physical presence in that particular state. Or are you saying that they should pay the taxes even though they are not required to? I guess that means you do not take the deductions that you are allowed to when you file your taxes, right?
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