NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble is teaming up with Samsung to develop Nook tablets, the book seller said today, as it focuses on its Nook software.
Barnes & Noble spent years investing heavily in its Nook e-book reader and e-book library, but they struggled to be profitable. And in December the chain said it was evaluating the future of its tablets. Still it offered a new non-tablet e-book reader during the holiday season.
The New York company has been trying to turn itself around as competition from discount stores and online retailers toughens, and as consumers shift away from traditional books to digital formats.
In its most recent quarter, Barnes & Noble reported a third-quarter profit as cost cuts at its Nook unit and elsewhere helped offset declining revenue across all of its businesses.
CEO Michael Huseby said at the time in a call with analysts that the company is trying to create better ways package physical and digital content, calling the digital side “vital to our mission.”
The device will be a 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 co-branded as a Nook with Nook’s digital reading software already on it. The tablet will be available at Barnes & Noble’s 700 U.S. stores in early August. A price for the device will be announced then.
Barnes & Noble says it will continue to make and sell its $99 Nook GlowLight e-readers and provide customer support.
The company also says it is moving its Nook employees out of its Palo Alto, California, offices to save money. Employees are expected to move to a smaller space in nearby Santa Clara, California, by July.
Its shares rose 61 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $19.51 in midday trading. Its shares have risen more than 26 percent so far this year.
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