In July 2012 Kobo made their first foray into Italy by launching their digital bookstore and a distribution agreement with the Mondadori Group, Italy’s leading retailer, and publisher of books and magazines. Today, Kobo is expanding further into the Italian market by signing a new agreement with Feltrinelli, Italy’s largest bookstore chain.
Starting October 15, Feltrinelli will offer the Kobo Touch, Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura, and Kobo Aura HD E Ink eReaders. The much-anticipated Kobo 7 HD tablet designed for Readers will be available in-store in late October. Customers will also be able to buy eBooks directly from Kobo’s Italian website.
“Digital reading continues to grow in Italy, and we’re building on the momentum we gained with our strategic partnership with Mondadori by creating new opportunities with leading booksellers such as Feltrinelli,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo. “Partnering with Feltrinelli will allow us to introduce even more Italian Readers to Kobo’s world-class ecosystem. With award-winning devices, a localized online experience, and nearly 4-million titles including international bestsellers and works from local authors, there’s something to meet the needs of every Reader.”
“Feltrinelli chose Kobo because they have created a superior experience for people who are truly passionate about reading,” said Stefano Sardo, CEO, Feltrinelli. “Their commitment to celebrating the written word, for understanding the personal journey of Readers as they thumb through pages, and the delight of discovering new ideas and fostering their imagination, is the same of Feltrinelli and something we share and will help us to create the best experiences for our customers.”
The Italian eBook market is growing and it is estimated that over 40,000 titles are available. Tablets seem to be the most popular with over 50% of the reading population owning one and e-readers themselves account for 30%. The four major publishers in Italy control around 60% of the market, but have not digitized the majority of their catalogs yet.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.