Barnes & Noble Ditching Tablets, Closing Stores

Source: Danielle Kurtzleben / Yahoo! News

After a brief struggle in the tablet market, Barnes & Noble is pulling out.

On Tuesday, the company announced that hits to its NOOK segment helped to drive its losses upward in its latest quarter. From February to April, Barnes & Noble’s net losses were at $2.11 per share, for a total of nearly $119 million. Just a year ago, losses totaled around $57 million, or $1.06 per share. NOOK revenues were down sharply last quarter, by 34 percent from a year ago.

As part of its plan to stop its NOOK losses, Barnes & Noble now says it will have a third party manufacture its color NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ tablets, in an effort to mitigate the risks from manufacturing the tablets itself, the company said. Barnes & Noble will, however, continue to make its black-and-white eReaders and to sell NOOK-branded color tablets, as well as eReader content.

It wasn’t just slower device sales that pulled down revenues. Sales of digital content (like books and magazines), while up by more than 16 percent for the year, were down 8.9 percent for the fourth quarter – a drop the company attributed in part to weaker titles this year, compared to the popularity of the Hunger Games and Fifty Shades of Grey trilogies last year.

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