NEW YORK -- Barnes & Noble (BKS) is going to split its retail and Nook Media businesses into two separate public companies as it looks to boost shareholder value.
The bookseller's stock jumped more than 7 percent in Wednesday premarket trading.
The company's retail business includes its bookstores and BN.com businesses. Nook Media, in which Microsoft (MSFT) is an investor, houses the digital and college businesses of Barnes & Noble.
Barnes & Noble has been trying to turn itself around as competition from discount stores and online retailers toughens, and as readers shift away from traditional books to digital formats.
The company spent years investing heavily in its Nook e-book reader and e-book library, but they struggled to be profitable. In December, Barnes & Noble said it was evaluating the future of its tablets, but it still offered a new non-tablet e-book reader during the holiday season.
The New York-based chain, which announced earlier this month that it was teaming with Samsung to develop Nook tablets, said that its board has approved the separation plans. It hopes to complete the separation by the end of 2015's first quarter.
Barnes & Noble also reported its fiscal fourth-quarter loss narrowed to $36.7 million, or 72 cents a share, from a loss of $114.8 million, or $2.04 a share, a year earlier. Revenue for the period ended May 3 edged up to $1.32 billion from $1.28 billion.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a loss of 49 cents a share on revenue of $1.19 billion.
Looking ahead, the company anticipates that fiscal 2015 sales at bookstores and college stores open at least a year will decline in the low-single digits.
Shares of Barnes & Noble rose $1.50, or 7.3 percent, to $22.06 before the market open.
17 Tricks Stores Use to Make You Spend More Money
Barnes & Noble to Separate Retail, Nook Media Units
In supermarkets, high margin departments like floral and fresh baked goods are placed near the front door, so you encounter them when your cart is empty and your spirits are high.
Flowers and baked goods also sit near the front of stores because their appealing smell activates your salivary glands, making you more likely to purchase on impulse.
Supermarkets like to hide dairy products and other essentials on the back wall, forcing you to go through the whole store to reach them.
Once customers start walking through a store's maze of aisles, they are conditioned to walk up and down each one without deviating.
Most stores move customers from right to left. This, combined with the fact that America drives on the right, makes people more likely to purchase items on the right-hand side of the aisle.
Anything a store really wants customers to buy is placed at eye level. Particularly favored items are highlighted at the ends of aisles.
There's also kid eye level. This is where stores place toys, games, sugary cereal, candy, and other items a kid will see and beg his parents to buy.
Sample stations and other displays slow you down while exposing you to new products.
Stores also want items to be in easy reach. Research shows that touching items increases the chance of a purchase.
Color affects shoppers, too. People are drawn into stores by warm hues like reds, oranges, and yellows, but once inside cool colors like blues and greens encourage them to spend more.
Hear that music? Studies show that slow music makes people shop leisurely and spend more. Loud music hurries them through the store and doesn't affect sales. Classical music encourages more expensive purchases.
Store size matters, too. In crowded places, people spend less time shopping, make fewer purchases (planned and impulsive), and feel less comfortable .
Stores not only entice you with sales, they also use limited-time offers to increase your sense of urgency in making a purchase.
The most profitable area of the store is the checkout line. Stores bank on customers succumbing to the candy and magazine racks while they wait.
Finally, there is the ubiquitous "valued shopper" card. This card gives you an occasional deal in exchange for your customer loyalty and valuable personal data.