There's that other shoe!

Remember how Barnes & Noble said they were going to miss their numbers? They really did, badly. Holiday sales were very bad, worse than people expected even with the warning.

Mostly this is because of craptacular Nook device sales--although excluding the Nook, sales at the stores were down 3.1%, which is bad, but not as bad as the 10.9% decline you get when you throw the Nooks in.

The Nook business overall (devices + e-books) was down 12.6%, but sales of e-books and the like were actually up 13.1%. So the device is the real albatross around the neck of the Nook business, but the brick-and-mortar business is declining just fine on its own. (Apparently people don't bother to go to the bookstore any more. Gee, I wonder why?)

Over the past three years, the Nook business has lost $733 million. The main problem isn't that they're losing money (which is often the norm for a new business), it's that Nook sales are tanking as other tablet/e-reading devices are doing fine. So they are failing to compete effectively, which is Not Good, and the old cash-generating business is faltering, which is also Not Good.