WHSmith gets in on the eReader market with the Kobo

By Gary Johnson - Nov 24, 2011

eReaders have become big business over the last year or two lead by the successful Amazon Kindle. Other devices such as the Nook and tablet PCs have also seen a major leap as consumers turn to digital books. Today we can tell you that WH Smith gets in on the eReader market with the Kobo device.

The British retailer made its first move into the market today with the announcement of a deal with the Canadian company Kobo. Many have been concerned what the impact of the electronic books would have on traditional books sales. The Guardian is reporting that chief executive Kate Swann said the move will complement its traditional business.

The devices will be available from the company’s retails stores as well as its online retail arm. People who decide to purchase the eReader will have access to the country’s largest eBook catalogue. There will be over 2.2 million books alongside 1 million free titles, and there will be two versions of the Kobo eReader available.

The retailer also announced a 4 percent increase in profits despite sales dropping by 5 percent. Book sales dropped by 4 percent, but its outlets situated in train stations and airports produced record profits for the chain.

WH Smith has 612 retail stores and said profits were helped as it focused on books instead of CDs and DVDS. There will be two models available which include the £89 basic model that has Wi-Fi, and the £110 version that has a touchscreen.

Do you think this is a good move by WH Smith?

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