Two months after announcing that it would cut back, Barnes and Noble now says that it will continue to manufacture the entire line of Nook devices. You can also expect a new Nook for the holidays. [CNET]
The guy running the show is only doing so because he has too large a share of the company for him to be able to run for the exits without losing his shirt. He gave up on his bid to lighten B&N's balance sheet by buying up the dead weight retail side, and if a guy who owns a significant share of the equity is unwilling to do that, you know that there is no viable way to extract value from the brick and mortar.
The last CEO jumped ship, and it goes without saying that he did so because he knew that an increasing portion of his compensation was going to come in the form of increasingly worthless equity. The number of profitable Barnes & Nobles is only going to continue to shrink, until only the stores with the most premium locations and favorable lease agreements are making money.
If they can't find a way to shed their retail divisions and make the Nook profitable (right now it isn't) by getting it into a ton of hands and getting people buying through their portal, it's going to be a gloriously horrific bloodbath of a bankruptcy. Between them and RIM, it's looking like those of us who take watching & reading about business failures to obsessive voyeuristic heights are in for a real treat over the next few years.