Barnes & Noble reported a fiscal third-quarter loss on Thursday, as weak holiday sales and lower demand for its Nook e-book reader took a toll on results. Here CEO William Lynch discusses the e-book reader market and changes in store for the Nook unit.
QUESTION: What do you mean when you say you are committed to the e-reader?
RESPONSE: "We had been basically the innovation leader in what I'll call e-reader and reading tablets, and that fueled a lot of growth. What we saw in the holiday is the market has shifted to multi-function tablets and that's where, if you read any of the analyst reports, the growth is coming from. We did a lot of work with the consumer post-holiday to find out what happened. What we're seeing is that the bigger brands, larger technology brands, have more resonance in that multi-function tablet market than we do. So we obviously have to adjust and change.
"...We've got a commitment to the tablet and e-reader market. But we've also got a commitment to change the model, as I said, in how we're approaching it, so that we mitigate the risk, we address maybe some of the perceived consumer shortfalls in what I'll call our broader ecosystem. And there's a lot of ways we can do that. ... We are not going to continue doing what we're doing. We will adjust quickly and that's what we've said and it's obviously the thing to do."