This month’s Barnes & Noble bulletin highlights low Nook sales and brewing trouble in the company’s e-reader department, a New York Times article (NYT) reports.

The book chain has warned that when it reports fiscal 2013 third-quarter results on Thursday, losses in its Nook Media division, including sales of e-books and devices, will be greater than the year before. More than just a third-quarter struggle, the unit’s expected revenue for all of fiscal 2013 will be far below its $3 billion projection.

As a result of such losses, Barnes & Noble could be closing its Nook hardware division and focusing primarily on connecting its digital content to other tablets and readers.

The NYT notes that the company isn’t completely abandoning hardware but will focus more on partnerships with hardware manufacturers and software distributors like Microsoft and Samsung to make deals for its content.

Though the Nook division saw initial financial hope following  its 2009 founding, it competes against giants like Apple and Google, and saw major losses over the 2012 holiday season. Tablet sales boomed, but Christmas-time figures showed most buyers preferred primarily Apple,  then Samsung, Amazon and Google products over the Nook.

“The Barnes & Noble brand is just very small,” said Sarah Rotman Epps, a senior analyst at Forrester. “It has done a great job at engaging its existing customers but failed to expand their footprint beyond that.” She adds, “it was a failure of brand, not product.”

Amid this currently speculative news, Barnes and Noble is claiming that it will not be discontinuing the Nook products as its plans could change with stronger partnerships.




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