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Barnes & Noble to develop co-branded Nook tablets with Samsung

New York -- Barnes & Noble Inc. is teaming up with Samsung Electronics America to develop a new Nook tablet. The co-branded devices will combine the Nook software with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 hardware, creating full-service tablets that also can access Barnes & Noble’s collection of more than 3 million books, magazines and newspapers, according to a statement.   

The companies are expected to introduce the new Nook in a 7-inch version in early August. It will be sold, along with Nook eReaders, at Barnes & Noble’s nearly 700 bookstores and online retail locations and its website.

“We are very excited and proud to partner with Samsung, a world-class technology and tablet leader, to create customized co-branded devices featuring our valuable Nook reading experience and digital content catalog for Barnes & Noble customers nationwide,” said Michael P. Huseby, CEO,  Barnes & Noble.

Barnes & Noble has been reining in its investments in the money-losing Nook unit after earlier tablet models did not do well with consumers. The company hasn’t released a new device since October.

In other news, Barnes & Noble announced that its Nook Media will relocate from Palo Alto, California, to a new facility in Santa Clara, California, while Barnes & Noble College’s digital education employees will relocate to a facility in Mountain View, California. The relocations are expected to occur by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

This action will result in a net reduction of annual occupancy expenses of approximately $10 million, reducing the company’s future lease commitments by approximately $102 million. The asset impairment charges resulting from this relocation are approximately $30 million, which are expected to be recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. Barnes & Noble also expects to incur cash closing costs and to adjust lease accounting items in the first quarter of fiscal 2015 to reflect the impact of these relocations.

“This move is a significant step in our ongoing efforts to both rationalize and better equip the Nook business to achieve success, while positioning the digital education team and platform for future growth,” said Huseby. “These relocations result in work environments and related cost structure impacts that are better aligned with our business objectives and our employees’ expressed needs.”

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