Chapters Indigo discounted the Kobo Aura Edition 2 and the Kobo Aura H2O Edition 2 last week. The deals were available online and in hundreds of bookstores across the country. Kobo has also just discounted these two e-readers on the main Canadian website, for the same price. Customers living in the United States have access to the Kobo online store too, but there are no discounts to be had.
Kobo does not really have a presence in the United States. Their online store can be accessed via an internet browser and you can browse and purchase audiobooks and ebooks. There is also a hardware selection where all of the current lineup of e-readers are available to purchase and also a number of accessories like sleep cover cases.
Kobo is based in Toronto Canada and Chapters Indigo was a huge shareholder when the company first started up. When Kobo was being sold to Rakuten, Indigo took their $100 million dollar investment and turned it into $300 million cashout. Kobo and Indigo still work closely together and have built great synergy over the years. Indigo directs customers to Kobo with their computer terminals in their bookstores and also online. Indigo constantly discounts e-readers every few months and then Kobo does the same.
I can’t think of a single occasion when Kobo ever reduced the price of an e-reader on the US website, customers always pay the full price. This might change once Kobo e-readers are available in Walmart locations across the nation. It is very likely that Walmart will want to run promotions to sell them at a discount in their flyers or for special occasions like Mother’s Day or Black Friday. It remains to be seen if Kobo will reduce the prices on their own website when Walmart runs the discount, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
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 CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.