Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablets are among the better tablets around, but they don’t sell. Perhaps it’s their heritage as an eReader dissuading tablet users, or the limited Nook store they were subject to for so long. Whatever the case, Barnes & Noble has reportedly made some drastic changes to their Nook team in reaction to declining sales.

It seems the nation’s largest book seller has laid off their entire digital engineering team. This dovetails with a report from late January that notes a management shakeup for the Nook division at Barnes & Noble. A spokesperson confirmed some people had been let go, but stopped short of committing to a number, or just who was let go:

We’ve been very clear about our focus on rationalizing the NOOK business and positioning it for future success and value creation. As we’ve aligned NOOK’s cost structure with business realities, staffing levels in certain areas of our organization have changed, leading to some job eliminations. We’re not going to comment specifically on those eliminations

Between Amazon’s eruption as a book retailer, and later a digital reading powerhouse, Barnes & Noble has a foe they may be falling prey to. Though one of the better tablets around — which now offers Play Store compatibility, unlike the Kindle series — the Nook just doesn’t see the energy or fervor a Kindle or Nexus tablet does. Increasing losses only deepen the wounds, and it seems heads are rolling as an effect.

Is it the beginning of the end for the Nook? It would seem so. Management shakeups, a decreasing workforce, and a dissolving customer base don’t bode well for Barnes & Noble. This is likely only a lineal step in the slow, downward spiral that is Nook.


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