B&N 'developing partnership' with Waterstones over Nook

B&N 'developing partnership' with Waterstones over Nook

US retailer Barnes & Noble is "developing a partnership with Waterstones to add the Nook to its locations this year", according to reports on news site Bloomberg Businessweek which quotes an unnamed source "familiar with the situation".

The source said B&N is in private talks with Waterstones to add the Nook to its stores this year. Spokeswomen for both B&N and Waterstones declined to comment to Bloomberg on the news.

Standard & Poor analyst Michael Souers told Bloomberg: "It they [B&N] do increase the distribution for the product, it's obviously a benefit for them. Amazon is still the behemoth in the market, and has the upper hand because they were the first mover in the majority of markets."

This follows the news from B&N earlier in January that the retailer is considering separating its Nook business from its traditional book retailing operations, and is looking to take the Nook overseas. At the time, it said it was in discussions with "strategic partners including publishers, retailers, and technology companies". Sales of its Nook e-reading device increased 70% year-on-year over the nine-week festive period ending 31st December 2011, with sales of digital content shooting up by 113% over the same period.

In November last year, B&N chief executive William Lynch told The Bookseller an international roll-out of the Nook was being planned, with details to be announced within the next four months. At the Publishers Association's international conference in December, B&N vice-president of digital content, Theresa Horner, said the e-reader would be coming to the UK in the "not too distant future".