Curtains for Nook HD? Nook HD Fire Sale extended

We’ve talked about the crazy Nook HD sale and reasons why Nook HD might be on sale in the recent past.

Now, B&N has ‘extended’ it beyond Father’s Day – conclusively proving it’s a fire sale to clear out stock, and not some ‘super special Father’s Day sale’.

B&N’s Press Release about the Nook HD Fire Sale is pretty interesting, especially this paragraph -

“With the fantastic success of our Father’s Day promotion, we decided to extend the great prices on NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ to help our customers gear up for a great summer reading season,” said Jamie Iannone, President of NOOK Media. “In our stores and online, customers have embraced these beautifully designed, lightweight devices with stunning displays that offer great reading and entertainment content.  We’re thrilled to keep in place our best prices ever and deliver great value to make reading more affordable.”

Well, good for them if they are seeing a great reaction. It certainly helps them clear out all the unsold stock they presumably had from their disastrous Holiday 2012 season.

It’s painfully obvious now that B&N is ending Nook HD (and perhaps replacing it with something else? perhaps not)

There were two possibilities we discussed -

  1. B&N is ending Nook HD Tablets completely and leaving the Tablet space.
  2. B&N is switching over to Windows 8 Tablets and clearing out stock of Android based Nook HDs.

The former seems likelier. However, one of the two is definitely happening, based on the extension of the crazy Father’s Day fire sale on Nook HD and Nook HD+.

At Paid Content, Laura Owen has this to say about the Nook HD fire sale extension -

combine the price cuts with the multiplerumors that Barnes & Noble plans to phase out the Nook tablet line by the end of fiscal year 2014 (which would be a year from now) and it starts to look as if B&N is trying to clear out stock. (The company has already phased out the lower-end Nook Tablet and Nook Color.) We may get more answers from the company’s next earnings report, which comes out June 25.

Well, yes, it was apparent that B&N was clearing stock once it started doing weekly sales on Nook HD and Nook HD+. This pretty much confirms it.

WebProNews thinks B&N should see how Nook HD and Nook HD+ sell at the new lower prices before deciding to leave the hardware market. I would agree. B&N needs to figure out the exact reasons its comparably good hardware lost so badly to iPad Mini and Kindle Fire HD. If it can fix those issues (Google Play is a good first step), then it should consider staying and fighting in the Tablet Space.

Another possible reason for Nook HD not selling well is that Apple and Amazon have huge customer bases and huge marketing budgets. B&N hardly advertised the Nook HD and Nook HD+. When it did, it focused too much on the Julie prototype – a mother with two young kids and a husband. That sounds good in theory. In actual practice, we probably have a lot more single mothers and unwed people and teenagers and older couples and boomers interested in tablets than the fairy tale ‘perfect couple in their 30s’ with two young kids. I wouldn’t be surprised if the percentage of prospective Tablet owners that fit the ‘Julie’ prototype is less than 20%. B&N was alienating 80% of its market by focusing so strongly on kids’ books and kids’ apps and ads focused on perfect little 2+2 families.

Here’s what B&N is sending out in emails -

Great news! Due to popular demand, we will be extending our amazing offer for our NOOK HD Tablets.

NOOK HD+ Tablet Only $149 – savings of $120 off regular price!
NOOK HD Tablet Only $129 – Savings of up to $80 off regular price!

Got to love it. Nook HD at $129 indefinitely. Perhaps it forces Amazon to drop prices on the Kindle Fire HD.

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