Cut-price Nook sells out after 'unprecedented' demand

Some Blackwell's, Sainsburys, Asda and Foyles shops are among retailers which have sold out of Nook Simple Touch stock after Barnes & Noble last week slashed the price of the e-reader to £29.

Barnes & Noble has confirmed that the Nook Simple Touch is temporarily unavailable in some outlets and from its own website after an "unprecedented" number of orders. Foyles has also sold out of the device.

Matthew Cashmore, digital director at Blackwell's, said: "Nook sales have gone off the chart. We've seen amazing sales and it's our bestseller this week by far. It's awesome to see people being given the chance to try the best e-reader on the market at a price that is properly affordable—opening the door to digital reading to many, many people for whom it was prohibitively expensive."

He added: "The other good news on Nook is that this week they're updating all the tablets with the Google Play store—meaning you can download BBC iPlayer and other apps that were previously not available. We're seeing a big uptake in sales on those devices as well." Cashmore said Blackwell's was still in stock with all other Nook devices, however.

Last week, Barnes & Noble slashed the price of its original Nook Model from £79 to £29 in a bid to win market share in the UK. The very low price point beats competitors at Amazon and Kobo by £20-30. At the same time, B&N partnered with the London Evening Standard's Get London Reading campaign and donated 1,000 e-readers to the national literacy charity Beanstalk.

A Barnes & Noble spokesperson said: "Since B&N announced the reduced price of the Nook Simple Touch to support the Get London Reading literacy campaign, and make reading more affordable in the UK, there has been an unprecedented number of orders. Some retailers are temporarily out of stock due to high demand. For customers who want a Nook e-reader immediately, Nook Simple Touch is in stock at major retailers across the UK and the Nook Simple Touch GlowLight is available now as well at £69.00, reduced from £109."

B&N launched its range of Nook e-readers in the UK last September through partner retailers, followed by an advertising campaign in the run-up to Christmas. Retailers which stock Nook products are Foyles, Blackwell's, John Lewis, Argos, Sainsbury's and Asda.