Eason and Son is a storied Irish bookseller that has been in business since 1819. The company now has over 60 outlets and undergoing a massive €1.1 million Cork refurbishment and opening an e-store where customers can download digital books. Source have confirmed today that they will also be branding their own e-reader.
The Eason book company is no stranger to selling books online and has been doing so for a number of years. They also have been selling digital books in the retail sphere with seven of its 38 locations carrying them. David Field, the head of marketing and retail development, told the Irish Times that “It is almost like a department within our book departments. People can come in, buy an e-reader, go online and download books there and then.” He added that “sales of e-books were increasing “almost 10-fold on a monthly basis”. David then confirmed to the Book Seller that “Eason currently sells a range of e-readers and we have plans to launch our own e-reader later this year.”
It seems Eason wants to go the Barnes and Noble and Kobo route, where customers can buy an e-reader and then load it up with ebooks directly in the store. It would make sense for the company to develop their own e-reader instead of relying on 3rd parties to provide the hardware, and suffer from low profit margins. Releasing their own device would give people reasons to come into the retail stores in Ireland, and would increase their digital revenues and allow the company to make more off of each unit they sold.