Barnes & Noble shelves tablets

BARNES & Noble has decided to stop manufacturing its tablet computers after losses at its struggling ebook business widened.

The US bookseller, which has made an aggressive attempt to take on Amazon in the ereader market, said yesterday that it would now attempt to work with third-party manufacturers for its colour Nook tablets, less than a year after introducing the range. Barnes & Noble said it would continue to produce the more basic black and white ereader versions of the Nook, its challenger to Amazon’s Kindle.

The move marks an admission of defeat for the firm after losses at the Nook division hit $177m (£115m) in the quarter to 27 April. The division dragged the entire company into a $118.6m loss in the period, as its bricks and mortar operation also saw sales decline.

The Nook range has struggled to make an impact in a highly competitive tablet market. Leonard Riggio, Barnes & Noble’s biggest shareholder, has said he would like to buy out the retail business.