Barnes & Noble had it annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday in New York City. It went as well as you would expect – in other words, not well at all.

B&N chair and founder Len Riggio publically addressed shareholders for the first time since deciding not to purchase half of the company, according to Publishers Weekly. The meeting got a bit heated at one point.

From Publishers Weekly:

Riggio was genial, confident and expansive with individual shareholders though perhaps a bit testy with the institutional shareholders who pressured him repeatedly over the future of the Nook Media division.

The Nook division has been struggling. During an investors call earlier in August, BN revealed its Nook division saw a drop of 20.2 percent from $192 million to $153 million compared to this time last year. This undoubtedly left many shareholders concerned with the future of the company and question the choices that have been made.

One of the more interesting comments came from Gregory Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media, a major shareholder that owns about 17% of B&N, according to PW.

“Look, no one is happy with Nook, we know we need a new e-reader strategy but it’s not easy when you look at [the competitors] we’re up against.” Maffei said, “It’s not like Liberty Media is against split-offs but it would be difficult to do at this time.”

Publishers Weekly also reported:

But after repeated questions on both topics—dividends or split the company—including at least one more question on his own no-buy decision, Riggio seemed to have had enough, especially on whether he was going to buy B&N retail. “I’m not obliged to talk about personal decisions,” he said pointedly to one shareholder, who began to retreat from the question once it was clear Riggio was a getting a little hot under the collar. “One side is demanding I buy retail, others stay I’m stealing retail. So I don’t know where you go from there.” Riggio continued, emphasizing, “I love this company and this business so it’s not all about money. It’s more personal. I don’t want to buy retail and I don’t have to say why.”



  1. Barnes and Noble are great. The Nook HD Plus is wonderful. Better than a Nexus. However B&N don’t get the word out. Not enough advertising! I tell everyone what a great tablet this is! They made some mistakes but fix them and move on. Digital is just going to grow and need more alternatives than Amazon Google and Apple.

  2. I just recently switched from the Kindle Fire HD to the Nook HD+ and while there are definitely advantages here (Expandable memory, Google Play store), I don’t think this tablet is as finely tuned as the Kindle. I rarely had ANY problems with my Kindle. It just always worked except for a very rare freeze up. The Nook on the other hand has some quirks that annoy me but which are not irrepairable. The screen has a tendancy to go to sleep while I’m reading the page even though it’s set for 2 minutes. I’m not that slow of a reader – really. The display is VERY prone to fingerprints and considerably harder to clean than the Kindle. I actually have to use eye glass cleaner on it vs just a cloth. There are other improvements Nook could make in their software as well that would certainly have them competing with Amazon/Kindle but they need to wake up and start attacking this. The same goes for your web site design and layout. B&N has a real advantage in that you can go into one of their stores and get in person help or just experience the Store/Nook interaction. They absolutely don’t take advantage of that enough. Why not have pop-ups on the device when you walk in the store offering free give aways (something from the cafe would be nice or maybe even a decent discount on an accessory) instead of the occasional odd book and only on weekends. Shoot. Just ask your customers what they want. It’s not rocket science.

  3. I have been with Apple since the IIE and was about to buy an iPad mini for a specific task, I all ready have an iPad. As there is no sign of a retina display model in sight I bought a Nook HD, this purchase was made due to the price. What a revelation this is a brilliant product, great screen and I have it synced with my Macbook Pro. Here in the UK B&N’s setup and service knocks spots of the competition. What’s wrong with the HD, only thing no sound feedback on the keyboard. You need to make people aware of your great products and services

    Stuart B Colchester UK

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