Barnes & Noble remains in dire straits, which is no surprise. What does come as a shock is that the bookstore chain has abruptly decided not to split its retail operations from its star-crossed Nook division. The company has mulled over the split for 18 months, but opted not to pull the trigger. B&N is pretty much a text-book case of a corporation paralyzed by steep and apparently irreversible decline. Nook sales, which were once the only hope for future growth, are now declining at a disastrous 32% clip. Amazon’s Kindle product range is simply devouring the Nook alive.
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