TFA says "Management is clearly focused on salvaging Nook operations rather than trying to make a go of it with the stores" and "B&N's disastrous focus on making Nook e-Readers is weighing heavily on the chain's operations."
Did they not get the memo today that B&N is discontinuing its whole color tablet line and that future color devices will only be sold as co-branded products manufactured by other companies? You read that right, B&N is no longer going to manufacture any tablets. It's going to continue to produce e-ink devices, but that's it. That whole "cannibalizing itself with branded tablets" angle they're whinging about is a dead end, as of today.
Second, how is the fact that the Nook apps are cross-platform making B&N's stores irrelevant? If the Nook apps didn't exist, wouldn't it just be the Kindle apps that are making B&N stores irrelevant, and B&N would have no slice of the ebook pie whatsoever?
Also, let's maintain a little perspective here. B&N's total revenue from the Nook division in fiscal 2013 was $776 million. Its revenue from its retail division was $4.6 billion. Are we really expected to believe that B&N execs are actually ignoring the retail business in favor of Nook? That just sounds like some absurd, "activist investor" fantasy.
B&N is struggling, sure. But it faces fairly serious market challenges. It had no chance at competing with Amazon in the ebook market without making a serious investment in both hardware and software. Has it made some missteps? It seems so, but to say they'll be impossible to retreat from seems a little premature.