Starting Sunday, Barnes & Noble (NYSE:
) will give away
one free Nook Simple Touch E Ink reader
with the purchase of a Nook HD+ tablet.
This deal (which runs until March 30) is one of the more
unusual sales announced by Barnes & Noble, which got into the
tablet business a couple years ago to keep up with Apple (NASDAQ:
) and Amazon (NASDAQ:
The Nook HD+ comes in two varieties: 16GB (which retails for
$269) and 32GB ($299). The Nook Simple Touch retails for $79. For
those who already wanted both items, this is likely the best deal
they will find.
However, one has to wonder what this means for the company,
its Nook division and the entire e-reader industry. iSuppli
dropped a bomb
last year when it revealed a troubling trend in e-reader sales.
Now Barnes & Noble is essentially trying to get rid of a
device that was supposed to be one of the company's best
This is not the first sign of trouble at Barnes & Noble.
In February, the company announced that Nook sales had fallen
The bookseller blamed the steep decline on lower device unit
volume, inventory charges and higher operating expenses. At the
time, Barnes & Noble said that it had implemented a cost
reduction program to significantly reduce the latter, but it did
not say by how much.
E-readers are not expected to sell very well during the spring
months. One report claimed that Kindle shipments have
plummeted this month
, dropping from 420,000 units in February to an estimated 20,000
units in March.
Even so, it will be interesting to see if the free Nook Simple
Touch deal can help turn the tide. After all, consumers
love a good sale
If this sale had occurred in December (or even on Black
Friday) it might have made a lot of sense. However, Barnes &
Noble chose to implement the sale on Sunday, March 24 -- one week
before Easter. In terms of gift-giving, that holiday is typically
known for eggs, candy and other simple treats -- not expensive
The holiday might not have anything to do with the sale,
however. Barnes & Noble may only be reacting to the
At this time two years ago, e-book sales
. Now that sales have tapered off not only for Barnes & Noble
but the entire industry, booksellers are doing whatever they can
to maintain consumer interest.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
email@example.com. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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