It is no secret that Barnes & Noble (BKS) has been struggling to keep up with a changing market for books. The company's biggest threat comes from Amazon.com (AMZN), but Amazon is far from the being the only threat that Barnes & Noble is facing.
The rise of digital media has been tough on brick and mortar bookstores, and Barnes & Noble has its work cut out for it if it doesn't want fade away like the once-mighty Borders did in 2011.
What sets Barnes & Noble apart from Borders is that it has the digital reader/tablet Nook, which has helped it endure in a world flooded with tablets. But the Nook is not exactly setting the world on fire these days.
When e-readers first became popular, Barnes & Noble and Amazon were the dominant players in the market, but that all changed when Apple (AAPL) unleashed the iPad on the market. Amazon has had good success in capturing some of the tablet market by selling its Google (GOOG)-powered Android tablets at a loss just to get them in the hands of consumers who then buy content from Amazon, but Barnes & Noble has not been so fortunate.
The Nook is turning into a disappointment, and unless the company is able to bring a better-selling tablet to market, its future remains uncertain.
Monday the company announced that it could be shutting as many as one-third of its store locations in the next ten years. The question I have is: will the company still even be around in ten years?
Barnes & Noble locations are great if you want to go into one to surf the net on some free wi-fi and drink some coffee. But people aren't buying books the way the used to, and have yet to truly embrace the Nook tablet.
The company is facing some hard times, and I for one don't believe it will be able to survive the next decade.
Michael Fowlkes is a financial writer who has been with the Fresh Brewed Media family since 2004. Over the course of his tenure with Fresh Brewed Media, he has worn many hats, including portfolio manager, options analyst, and writer. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Accounting and got his start in finance working as a stock trader for six years at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Va. His articles typically cover big-picture events and forecasting what impact they will have on the stock market. In addition to writing for Fresh Brewed Media, Michael also wrote for AOL's BloggingStocks for three years, focusing most of his attention on the energy and technology sectors. Follow him on Twitter at @MFatMICenter.