The largest electronics retailer in Australia JB Hi-Fi started selling digital books two years ago. Things haven’t been going so well for them and they announced that on September 30th they will be shutting down the JB Hi-Fi Now ebook store.
The company is the midst of emailing all of the customers who have registered an account on the platform or have bought an e-book.
Toronto based Kobo has picked up the contract for the users and all JB Hi-Fi Now purchased will be transferred over to the Kobo ecosystem. JB is also giving everyone a free $10 credit that they can use to buy any digital book they want from Kobo. If you have any questions about the transfer to another bookstore JB Hi-Fi hascreated an FAQ page with 11 questions on the transfer from NOW eBooks to Kobo.
Kobo has an extensive track record of swooping down on companies about to go out of business and somehow works out a financial arrangement to buy the users. They did it with Blinkbox books, a UK bookseller that was run by the supermarket chain Tesco. But perhaps Kobo’s biggest triumph was when they took over millions of users from Sony, when the Reader Store went out of business in North America, Europe and Australia.
It is not very surprising that yet another digital bookstore is going out of business. Worldwide e-book sales have plummeted over the last two years and it seems as though the format is being deliberately sabotaged by the publishers.