It comes as no shock that the sale of actual books is dwindling down every year. In fact the Border’s Group has been slowly closing down it’s boutique shopping mall stores in hopes to drive more customers to their stand alone big book boxes. However with new e-readers coming out everyday and Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google and Borders competing for the same space, the digital age is cutting into the physical book margin at an unheard of rate.
On the heels of another down quarter for the Borders Group, Border’s investor William Ackman has pledged an investment through his hedge fund of 960 million dollars for Borders to buy Barnes & Noble. Call it crazy but so was K-Mart buying Sears.
Talk in the financial community about this merger all seems to point to its validity, it’s well known that Barnes & Noble would like to increase its foot print but building out stores, in the digital age, has been costly.
So if the two book giants to get together what does that mean for their e-book space. Both the Nook and Kobo run a backbone on the Android Operating System however, the Nook is outselling Kobo by a margin of tat least 3-1. Barnes and Noble claims to have a hold of 20% of the digital book market.
Although there are no reports on what will happen to the ebook units we would say its a safe bet that they would continue on with the Nook legacy. Draw both libraries together and offer one big humongous library via the Nook. Or maybe open one complete library together ala Google Editions that is available on both devices.
According to publishers weekly e-book sales are up 112% from the same time last year. In fact the only unit at Borders that saw growth was it’s e-book unit which rose 24% so that is definitely where the market is going. The e-book allows readers a freedom to take several publications with them at one time, imagine stuffing a bunch of magazines and books into your purse.
Barnes and Noble just started selling the Nook color (which has already been rooted) and expects that to be their growth item this holiday season.
What do you think, the Nookobo?