|From: Sr K||6/5/2014 1:15:26 PM|
Barnes & Noble Inc. reached a deal to sell color tablets made by Samsung Electronics Co. co-branded with the book chain's Nook label, the companies said Thursday.
The deal fulfills Barnes & Noble's previously stated plan to reduce its heavy investment in the Nook, which has been a financial drain in recent years, allowing the retailer to focus more on its stores and college business.
Under the deal, Barnes & Noble has committed to buying one million Samsung co-branded color tablets over the next 15 months, which the retailer will sell in its stores and on its website starting in August. The tablet will be a version of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 4 released in the U.S. on May 1, featuring Nook reading and shopping software.
Barnes & Noble said it would disclose the price of the new tablet when it is launched. On Amazon.com Wednesday, a 7-inch Galaxy Tab 4 was priced at $199.99.
Barnes & Noble shares rose 66 cents to $19.56 in early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
The two cost-cutting moves come only a few weeks before Barnes & Noble will report its full-year results. The retailer has forecast a decline of comparable-store sales in the high single digits at its 663 consumer bookstores, with core retail comparable bookstore sales—which exclude the sale of Nook devices and related products—falling in the low-to-mid single digits.
Barnes & Noble also said it has leased new space in Santa Clara, Calif., for its Nook staffers and is exiting its campus in Palo Alto. The bookseller's digital education staffers will relocate to offices in Mountain View, Calif. Barnes & Noble estimated the relocations will lead to a reduction of its future lease commitments of about $102 million. Barnes & Noble will take a related fourth quarter charge of about $30 million.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||6/25/2014 10:22:15 AM|
|Barnes & Noble To Split Retail, Nook Businesses|
Bookseller Hopes to Complete Separation by First Quarter of Next Calendar Year
By Anna Prior
Wall Street Journal
Updated June 25, 2014 9:53 a.m. ET
The company hopes to complete its split early in the next calendar year. Bloomberg
Barnes & Noble Inc. said it would pursue a split of its retail and Nook e-reader businesses into two separate public companies, the next chapter in its bid to shore up its foundering business as readers' book-buying habits evolve.
The bookseller said it plans to complete the separation by the end of the first quarter of the next calendar year.
The company has struggled as its Nook device—the company's bid to compete with Amazon.com's edge in the e-book market—has failed to catch on. It has scaled back its investment in that division, but the operations have been a drag on its consumer stores business that accounts for most of the company's revenue.
The Nook segment posted a 22% revenue decline to $87 million in the May quarter, the company said Wednesday, while digital content sales fell 19% to $62 million.
Barnes & Noble's retail segment, meanwhile, posted a 0.8% increase in revenue to $955.6 million as the latest quarter included an extra week. However, sales, excluding newly opened or closed locations, fell 1.9%, excluding Nook items. The company pointed to "unusually severe February weather," as one reason for the decline.
"We believe we are now in a better position to begin in earnest those steps necessary to accomplish a separation of Nook Media and Barnes & Noble Retail," said Chief Executive Michael Huseby. "We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately."
The decision to split the businesses marks a reversal from the company's position in August, when it abandoned plans for a separation after considering the idea for 18 months. At that time, Leonard Riggio, the book retailer's chairman and largest shareholder, also decided against making a personal offer to buy the company's consumer bookstores.
Barnes & Noble was caught dozing by digital books and devices. It wasn't until 2009, two years after Amazon.com Inc. introduced its Kindle e-reader and digital bookstore, that Barnes & Noble launched its own e-book store, followed by a Nook e-reader. Heavy losses on the Nook then forced the company to retreat.
William Lynch, who was a prime player in the Nook push, resigned as CEO last year, and the company named Mr. Huseby as CEO in January. His strategy has been to fine-tune the still-profitable consumer bookstores and light a digital spark at its college bookstores.
The consumer business has also widened its offerings to include educational toys, games and other nonbook categories, which carry higher profit margins. At the same time, the retailer has cut back on its book inventory.
Overall, for the fiscal fourth quarter ended May 3, the company posted a loss of $36.7 million, or 72 cents a share, compared with a loss of $114.8 million, or $2.04 a share, a year earlier.
Revenue rose 3.5% to $1.32 billion, though the year-earlier quarter included one less week.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had projected a per-share loss of 59 cents a share and $1.19 billion in revenue.
Gross margin widened to 32.1% from 18.1% as input costs fell 14%.
Write to Anna Prior at email@example.com
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|From: Glenn Petersen||2/26/2015 10:31:31 AM|
|Barnes & Noble to Spin Off College Bookstores Unit|
By MICHAEL J. de la MERCED
New York Times
FEB. 26, 2015
Barnes & Noble said on Thursday that it would spin off its college bookstores business into a separate publicly traded company, changing up its breakup plans.
Originally, the retailer had planned to part with the education division as part of a spinoff of its Nook business, made up in large part of its beleaguered e-reader device.
Over the last year, Barnes & Noble has taken steps to reorganize itself to help stabilize its ebbing business. It has bought back stakes in the Nook business owned by Microsoft and the education publisher Pearson as part of the planned spinoff of the division.
Now, however, Barnes & Noble will keep the Nook business and spin off just the college bookstore unit, its best-performing division. In the 26 weeks ended Nov. 1, the education division reported $10.7 million in profit on top of $977.4 million in sales, according to a prospectus filed on Thursday.
By contrast, the core retail division reported $1.8 billion in sales and the Nook unit just $133.9 million during that same period. The college bookstores business was the only one to report revenue growth during that period.
“Separating Barnes & Noble Education will create an industry-leading, pure-play public company with more flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities in the growing educational services markets,” Michael Huseby, its chief executive, said in a statement.
The unit, to be called Barnes & Noble Education, operated 714 stores as of Nov. 1, as well as sales of e-textbooks through its Yuzu platform.
Shareholders in Barnes & Noble will receive stock in the independent college bookstore unit by the end of August.
Shares in Barnes & Noble were up 5.6 percent in early morning trading on Thursday, at $25.67.
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|To: Ron who wrote (1686)||12/14/2015 9:20:54 AM|
|From: Mike Strauss|
|I think Barnes and Noble should emphasize more of the bookstore experience, since this is pretty much the only thing that can keep them in business. While I like the convenience and low price of amazon, theres something to value about the bookstore experience|
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|To: Mike Strauss who wrote (1687)||12/14/2015 12:10:03 PM|
|They are definitely up against some major trends: digital vs analog.. Newspapers, magazines|
have the same problem. As millennials age maybe they'll go back to paper books.. but recent
trends sure do not look encouraging.
I still prefer paper books but the Kindle is very convenient, especially when I can get some books now free
through the library on the Kindle format.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||10/29/2016 10:45:29 PM|
|What Barnes & Noble Doesn’t Get About Bookstores|
By David Sax
The New Yorker
October 21, 2016
Leonard Riggio is looking to emulate the very businesses Barnes & Noble once threatened. But he may be missing the bigger lesson of independent bookstores and the intangible experience of shopping there. Credit Photograph by Craig Warga / Bloomberg via Getty
In April, Leonard Riggio announced that he was stepping away from Barnes & Noble, the business he bought forty-five years ago and transformed into the world’s largest brick-and-mortar bookstore chain. Come September, Riggio, now seventy-five, would happily retire. Or so he claimed. Though he had ceded the title of chief executive in 2002, Riggio remained the executive chairman and the soul and supreme authority of Barnes & Noble. Still, it seemed like a safe time to step down. Pummelled in recent years by Amazon’s dominance over the industry, and the hangover of the recession, Barnes & Noble had closed more than ten per cent of its stores and fended off hostile takeovers, but it was still alive. Its losses had levelled off, and sales were actually growing in many categories, including board games, vinyl records, and even some categories of books, the non-digital kind (like coloring books for grownups). In March, the company announced plans to open its first new stores in several years, and in June it unveiled its potential future: smaller locations, with full-service bars and restaurants, and a more boutique feel. It seemed to be a move away from the model of “superstores” that the company once defined itself by.
But then, in August, Riggio and the board he leads ousted Ron Boire, who had lasted less than a year as chief executive, and was the third C.E.O. to pass through Barnes & Noble since 2010.* A few weeks later, quarterly financial results presented shareholders with the cold reality of Barnes & Noble’s troubles. Losses were mounting across the board—particularly for the Nook, the company’s troubled wireless reading device—and sales were falling more quickly than expected. The company’s stock was almost a quarter of what it had been a decade ago. In response, Riggio has returned to the chief executive’s chair, ostensibly until a suitable replacement is found.
The key question for Riggio now is figuring out what purpose Barnes & Noble serves today. Amazon dominates the industry with low prices and a vast selection, and is even flirting with brick-and-mortar bookstores, having opened two in the past year. Independent bookstores—once assumed to be on their way to extinction—own the romantic notion of a bookstore as a place, like a church or a social club, where communities are nurtured. Barnes & Noble is stuck in the middle, a giant saddled with hundreds of huge stores, and an image of corporate sameness in a market that has increasingly come to treasure defiantly independent bookstores.
In redefining the company’s purpose, Riggio is looking to emulate the very businesses Barnes & Noble once threatened. After two decades in which the number of independent booksellers decreased by half, those bookstores are now coming back. The American Booksellers Association noted a consistent increase in new store openings over the past seven years, with growth of more than thirty per cent. These include small urban stores, such as Brooklyn’s Greenlight and Word, but also regional chains, like Bull Moose, in New England.
In a recent phone interview, Riggio said he believes that the biggest shift in the book retail business (besides the one caused by the Internet and Amazon) was fundamentally demographic. Over the past fifteen years, as young Americans and their families returned to urban centers in significant numbers, the market for independent bookstores became viable once again. “The retailers that are now resurgent in those areas are typically populated by smaller stores, because the architecture of those spaces are small,” he said.
As far back as 2000, Riggio said that he believed Barnes & Noble should open smaller stores (the company’s typical superstores are more than twenty-five-thousand square feet), in denser, more pedestrian-friendly locations. But, at the time, business was great, the suburban power centers were still growing, and the idea never translated into concrete action. “You blow some and you get some right,” he said, reflecting on the missed opportunity. “Timing is everything.”
Ultimately, this hurt Barnes & Noble, whose core business rests on big numbers of huge stores, even in urban centers like New York. The move to open five smaller concept stores—about twenty per cent smaller than its average store—in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Sacramento, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and New York City, sometime in the next few months, seems a somewhat belated attempt to remedy this.
Riggio believes that the same type of person shops at small independent bookstores, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. “The No. 1 consideration of where someone will shop is how close it is to where they are,” he said. “It has nothing to do with pedigree or branding. If there’s no bookstore close to them, they’re more likely to buy online. If there’s one close, they’re more likely to buy if it’s a block away.” His target market is the same as other book retailers: young, educated customers, and women with small children.
The only thing that he believes distinguishes new-generation independent bookstores from Barnes & Noble is better food and drink, which is something he hopes to capture in the new concept stores. Those stores will have Scandinavian-looking cafés with fully licensed bars, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While a number of successful independent bookstores have cafés and good coffee, Riggio may be missing the bigger lesson of independent bookstores and the intangible experience of shopping there. The independent bookstores that have proved successful are uniquely suited to the community they’re in. Some are big. Some are small. Some are homey and stitched together with found shelving. Others are practically works of art and architecture. They stock the books that the community wants, and, while their selections are minuscule compared with Barnes & Noble, the staff can speak to the books on those shelves with authority. In other words, they are all different. An analogous example sits right across from the flagship Barnes & Noble, in Union Square, in New York City: a greenmarket that draws in people who want to browse, socialize, and take photos of pumpkins, even if they can buy the same foods and products at the Whole Foods Market on the south side of the square. The brick-and-mortar stores that do best today are the ones people want to shop in, not the ones they have to.
Riggio argues that, despite being a large corporation, Barnes & Noble can serve a community function. “The people who shop at our stores see us as the local Barnes & Noble,” he said, noting that the company basically transformed bookstores from places filled with products to retail environments with comfortable seating where patrons were encouraged to linger. Part of the company’s plans for revamping its retail includes more on-floor sales staff with better information, and increased autonomy for store buyers to stock the merchandise that’s relevant to the local customer base. “We have been community centers since we entered the business,” Riggio said. “You can’t just dismiss us with the broad brush of ‘Well, that’s a chain.’ Otherwise, you deny that the three billion books we sold ever happened.”
But to run six hundred and thirty-eight stores, most the size of several independent bookstores, you need standardization, in everything from design and selection to the clothes employees wear. It’s unlikely that Barnes & Noble will ever shrink to a scale where it can shake off that uniformity, nor would it be wise to try. While many love to bash Barnes & Noble as a disrupted dinosaur, and gleefully talk about its impending demise, the reality is that the world of American books, and bookstores, would be poorer without it. If you live in certain areas of the country, Barnes & Noble is your local bookstore. It’s where you go to hear authors speak, where you stock up on Christmas gifts, and where you take your children to hear stories. Every industry needs its standard-bearer, just as the third-wave coffee shops need their Starbucks to rebel against.
If Barnes & Noble does persevere, it will undoubtedly look different from the Barnes & Noble we see today. Likely it will resemble something akin to a more human-scale bookstore chain. That may mean closing more stores, though Riggio wouldn’t comment on that.
“You look at bookstores and a book market as more of an evolving issue than this type of store or that type of store appearing or disappearing,” he said. “It doesn’t really happen like that. It plays out over a long period of time.” For the sake of the millions of readers across America who still see Barnes & Noble as their neighborhood bookstore, let’s hope it does.
*This sentence has been corrected to clarify that Leonard Riggio does not control the Barnes & Noble board.
David Sax is the author of “Save the Deli” and “The Tastemakers.” His next book, “The Revenge of Analog,” will be published in November, 2016.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||6/7/2019 10:20:46 AM|
|Elliott Management to acquire Barnes & Noble for $683 million|
Published 3 hours agoUpdated 2 hours ago
- Activist firm Elliott Management announced Friday it plans to acquire bookseller Barnes & Noble for roughly $683 million, including debt.
- Within the past five years, Barnes & Noble has lost more than $1 billion in market value.
- Elliott acquired Britain’s biggest bookseller, Waterstones, last year
Barnes & Noble
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Activist firm Elliott Management announced Friday it plans to acquire bookseller Barnes & Noble for roughly $683 million, including debt.
The deal values Barnes & Noble at $6.50 a share, a 43% premium to the retailer’s 10-day volume weighted average closing share price before news of an imminent deal leaked Thursda
After the announcement, the stock was up 10% to $6.56 per share, in premarket trading.
Barnes & Noble has faced continued pressure from Amazon and independent booksellers. Its shares had fallen roughly 25% year to date before the news leak. Within the past five years, Barnes & Noble has lost more than $1 billion in market value.
Amazon holds nearly half of new book sales, a report by audience research Codex Group said last year, while Walmart has about 4.2 percent of the market
In search of a turnaround, Barnes & Noble said last year it was exploring a sale after having received “expressions of interest” from “multiple parties,” including its chairman, Leonard Riggio, who founded the company in 1965.
Riggio has entered into a voting agreement in support of the transaction, the company said Friday.
As a private company, Barnes & Noble will likely be more free to make the changes and investment that can be unwieldy under a public spotlight. Part of the bookseller’s turnaround plan has included closing some of its more than 600 stores across the U.S. and relocating to smaller spaces that receive a fresh and modern look. The company has said its prototype stores encourage shoppers to buy books online or from a tablet.
The retailer has shown small signs of upturn. In March, it reported that over the holidays, sales at locations open for at least a year during the quarter rose 1.1 percent — its best quarterly performance in three years. As of January, it had $15 million in cash and cash equivalents.
For its part, Elliott, the firm founded and led by billionaire Paul Singer, acquired Britain’s biggest bookseller, Waterstones, last year. Owning the two book retailing giants could give Elliott synergies and buying leverage with publishers, people familiar with the industry say.
Elliott will operate the two retailers independently, the company said on Friday, though Waterstones CEO James Daunt will oversee both retailers as chief executive.
The deal, which will be structured as a merger, is expected to close in the third quarter, the company said. Elliott and Barnes & Noble expect to amend the agreement to utilize a tender offer structure, thereby likely reducing closing time by several weeks.
Barnes & Noble also will pay out a quarterly cash dividend of 15 cents per share, payable on Aug. 2.
CNBC’s Lauren Thomas contributed to this report
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