Barnes & Noble plans to separate its Nook digital business from its consumer bookstores by early next year.

As part of the plan, Nook Media will be made a separate entity which will include Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-book and e-reader business as well as its college stores.

Tough trading period, challenging print book market and intense competition from Amazon are forcing several retailers to go out of business.

In the fourth fiscal quarter ending 3 May, comparable-store sales, which exclude the sales of Nook products, were down by 1.9%.

Barnes & Noble is a multi-channel retailer. It offers a wide range of trade books such as hardcover and paperback consumer titles, mass market paperbacks such as mystery, romance, science fiction and other popular fiction, children’s books, bargain books, magazines, gift, cafe products and services, music and movies.

The company markets products through its retail stores, which include 686 stores under B&N College, 675 stores under B&N Retail, and ecommerce sites, Through Sterling Publishing Co, it publishes a wide range of non-fiction and illustrated books and kits across a variety of imprints.