Barnes & Noble’s Nook has partnered with Samsung to build co-branded tablets.
The devices will be called Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook tablets and come with Nook’s digital reading library.
It will combine the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 hardware with customised Nook software.
The 7-inch tablet will be introduced into the US in August this year and be sold in B&N shops and website.
Michael Huseby, c.e.o of Barnes & Noble said: “Standing behind these great new devices will be the power of our 40,000 Barnes & Noble booksellers combined with our deep bookselling and retail expertise to provide sales support and personalised in-store customer service for our lineup of new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook products.”
He added that partnering with the global South Korea-based tech company emphasized B&N’s “commitment” to growing its digital content business. At the same time, the move will help to rationalize the Nook business by reducing its exposure to the substantial cost structure involved in device manufacturing. “Going forward, the company will be able to focus on its proven expertise in acquiring and delivering the best digital reading experience to grow Nook content sales,” B&N said.
The news comes following steadily declining sales of Nook devices and content over the past year. In its Christmas trading statement, B&N reported that Nook devices, content and accessory sales fell by 60.5% year-on-year in the nine weeks to 28th December 2013, to $125million and content sales decreased by 27.3%. In June last year the company announced it would seek a third party device manufacturer to partner with after hardware sales first began to severely drop.
At the same time, B&N has revealed its Nook employees will move to a new 88,000 sq ft office in Santa Clara, California, from its original 208,000 sqft headquarters in Palo Alto, also in California, in a bid to reduce lease costs.
Barnes & Noble College’s digital education employees will relocate to a facility in Mountain View, California, the company said, in the first quarter of fiscal 2015.
The company expects to save $10m a year from the move and reduce its future lease commitments by around $102m. It will incur a $30m asset impairment charge from the move however, expected to be recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014.
Huseby said: “This move is a significant step in our ongoing efforts to both rationalize and better equip the Nook business to achieve success, while positioning the digital education team and platform for future growth."