Last-minute delay to UK Nook launch

The UK launch date for Nook e-readers has been delayed by two weeks, with the products now not available for sale in stores until 29th October.

Barnes & Noble’s partner retailers such as John Lewis, Foyles, Blackwell’s, Argos, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s had been readying shelf space for the original launch date this Monday (15th October) and won’t be able to offer their customers the much-anticipated devices for a further fortnight.

The delay means Waterstones will begin selling Kindle products, including its Kindle Fire tablet, a week ahead of Nook products going on sale in the UK—when previously B&N would have had a week’s lead. Amazon announced yesterday (11th October) its new Kindle Paperwhite model would also go on sale on 25th October.

B&N informed retailers today of the postponement, but has provided no further explanation as to the cause of the delay, although previously sources have suggested the UK-based website used to sell B&N e-books, currently in beta form, was not yet ready to go live.

A spokesperson for B&N said: “Nook Simple Touch and Nook Simple Touch GlowLight will be available in the UK beginning in late October, in plenty of time for the Christmas shopping season. Barnes & Noble's award-winning E Ink products will be available in leading retailers as well as www.nook.co.uk.”

Kate Stilborn, head of operation for Blackwell’s, said that while the retailer was “disappointed”, it would still be taking pre-orders of the Nook Simple Touch and Glowlight models. “We are looking forward to when they do go on sale and be ready when they do,” she said.