So Barnes & Noble just let loose its financial results for the last year (ending May 1), and things are looking pretty rosy, at least if you take their view of them. The main point is that the e-book store is gaining popularity and online sales are solid, while brick-and-mortar sales are, predictably, in decline. B&N’s CEO, William Lynch, chose to highlight this little statistic:
In fact, in just a brief 12 months since we launched the Barnes and Noble ebookstore, our share of the digital market already exceeds our share of the retail book market.
Good for them… I think. I don’t think it’s really that surprising that an up-and-coming new industry (and one with so few players) like e-bookstores should exceed the performance of a visibly endangered one. But that said, B&N could easily have blown it rather than leveraged their properties correctly — resulting in a trouncing by Kindle, iBookstore, and what have you.
They’ve successfully hitched their wagon to a shooting star, in other words, when they might have missed it entirely or messed up the job. They’re still losing money, if I’m reading this correctly, but who knows what that really means these days? It’s within their projections, they say, which is something of a consolation. They’re not going anywhere for a while, at any rate:
We are planning to redirect a significant portion of our financial resources towards investments in technology, sales and marketing.
I hear that as: more Nooks (which have successfully driven sales), more e-books, and… probably layoffs and store closures.