Barnes & Noble Releases $50 Nook in Bid to Salvage E-Reader Business

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Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) NOOK e-reader sales have been slaughtered recently as the company falls hopelessly behind Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) due to the success of its Kindle. Barnes & Noble appears to have launched an effort to correct that with a new $50 version of the Nook.

According to Author Earnings, NOOK has 8% of the e-reader market to Amazon’s 74%.

On Wednesday Barnes & Noble announced:

… the new NOOK Tablet 7″, the Company’s most affordable NOOK ever at just $49.99. The sleek and lightweight new 7-inch device is a full-featured Android tablet with access to millions of NOOK Books®, thousands of NOOK Audiobooks® and hundreds of magazines and newspapers through the NOOK Store®, as well as full access to the Google Play Store. NOOK Tablet 7” also features front and rear-facing cameras, expandable storage up to 128GB through a microSD card (sold separately), Bluetooth connectivity and a quad-core processor, all for less than $50, making it the perfect gift for everyone in the family this holiday season. The newest NOOK is available at Barnes & Noble stores starting on Black Friday, November 25.

In its most recent earnings report, Barnes & Noble disclosed for the period that ended July 30:

Total sales for the first quarter were $913.9 million, declining 6.6% as compared to the prior year. Retail sales, which include Barnes & Noble stores and BN.com, declined 6.1% to $881.7 million for the quarter. Comparable store sales declined 6.0% for the quarter, softer than the Company’s expectations, due in large part to lower traffic and the challenging retail environment. NOOK sales, which include digital content, devices and accessories, declined 24.5% to $41.0 million for the quarter.

A lower priced NOOK won’t get Barnes & Noble back in a game in which its sales are only $41 million a quarter.