Barnes and Noble announced its first partner in the United Kingdom a few days ago with John Lewis. Today the company announced that it has secured more partnerships for the Nook eBook Store and line of e-readers. The new retail outlets include multichannel retailer Argos, the leading academic bookseller Blackwell’s, and award-winning independent bookstore Foyles.
“We’re excited to work with Argos, Blackwell’s and Foyles to introduce our popular NOOK reading experience to an even broader audience in the United Kingdom,” said Jamie Iannone, President of Digital Products at Barnes & Noble. “Argos built its brand on choice and convenience, and with 90 percent of the population living within 10 miles of an Argos store, this literally brings the NOOK experience close to home for millions of UK consumers. Blackwell’s has built a reputation on its wide selection of titles and extremely knowledgeable staff, much like Barnes & Noble, and we’re delighted to continue in our dedication to the education space. As London’s largest independent bookshop chain, Foyles is a trusted name in books and literature in the UK, so we’re pleased to work together to bring NOOK and our expansive digital catalog to people passionate about books and reading.”
These new partnerships come at critical juncture when B&N really needs its products displayed in a retail environment. Blackwell’s intends on marketing them in 55 universities and major high streets nationwide. Foyles will bring the devices to its six award-winning, internationally renowned London and Bristol bookshops and make them available via its online shop. The biggest retail partner is arguably Argos in all 700 retail locations and prominently promoted through Argos’ robust online and telephone catalogue starting in October, providing shoppers easy and convenient ways to learn about, try, and purchase NOOK products.
Barnes and Noble is pushing hard into the United Kingdom with its first foray into true international expansion. The Nook line of tablets and e-readers will both be available alongside a new online bookstore will focus on newspapers, magazines, and ebooks with a distinctively English flavor.