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New e-book device planned for Waterstone's
01.04.10 | Graeme Neill
Waterstone's plans to stock a new e-book device similar to the Amazon Kindle within the next few months. M.d. Dominic Myers said Waterstone's was training all staff in the functions and differences of various e-book reading devices.
"We have found that if you explain to someone how an e-book reader works they are four times more likely to buy one than if you let a customer just stand in front of the devices," he said.
Waterstone's is also working with technology company 7 Digital, co-owned by parent HMV Group, about developing retail apps within the next year.
Waterstone's was only the second retailer to stock a dedicated e-reading device when it brought the Sony Reader into shops in September 2008. When asked whether he felt Waterstone's had backed the wrong company, with the likes of Amazon's Kindle and the forthcoming Apple iPad offering greater functionality, he said: "We can't bet on the Amazon horse but we realise we have to have wireless devices in store and 3G ones in the months to come. We will have one of those very shortly and have included in it the functionality that comes with a Kindle."
He declined to elaborate on the identity of the company making the device and what features it would have. However, he added it would have an in-built link to Waterstone's e-book store. Sony released a wireless 3G device, the Daily Edition, in the US last year.
Myers also revealed he was in discussions with a retailer about opening gift stationery concessions in some larger stores. He said there had been a sales uplift from the collapse of Borders, which had Paperchase stationery concessions. He said Borders' collapse would contribute around £5m to profits.