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Barnes & Noble Nook line shunned by holiday shoppers

While the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire filled many a stocking this holiday season, it appears the Barnes & Noble Nook was largely left out in the cold.

According to data released by Barnes & Noble, sales of Nook products took a tumble during the nine-week period ending 29 December, 2012.

The company's retail arm, which includes its bricks-and-mortar stores in the US and distribution partnerships with the likes of Sainsbury's, Blackwell's and Argos in the UK, dropped 10.9 per cent over the same time period in 2011. Barnes & Noble blamed the slump on an 8 per cent decline in comparable store sales and closures, as well as lower online sales.

The Nook segment "fell short of the company's expectations," Barnes & Noble said, dropping 12.6 per cent. While sales of digital content - like apps, eBooks, and magazines - were up 13.1 per cent, Nook device sales "declined during the holiday period as compared to the prior year," the company said, without elaborating.

"We entered the holiday with two great new products, Nook HD and Nook HD+, both highly rated media tablets of phenomenal quality," B&N CEO William Lynch said in a statement.

"Nook device sales got off to a good start over the Black Friday period, but then fell short of expectations. We are examining the root cause of the December shortfall in sales, and will adjust our strategies accordingly going forward."

Though Barnes & Noble expanded its Nook retail presence by entering the UK market back in October 2012, it seems that the Nook couldn't compete with the likes of the Amazon Kindle Fire and Google's Nexus 7. One drawback might be the lack of available content. Though Barnes & Noble is pushing ahead with the Microsoft-backed Nook Media and the Nook Video Store, it still falls short when compared to Amazon's huge inventory of books and movies and Apple's App Store.

Barnes & Noble now expects fiscal 2013 Nook Media revenues to reach about $3 billion (£1.85bn), a loss compared to fiscal 2012. Q2 results are expected to be announced by mid-February.