B&N to launch tablets, Waitrose, Sainsburys to sell Nook

B&N to launch tablets, Waitrose, Sainsburys to sell Nook

Barnes & Noble has announced it is to launch two tablets simultaneously in the UK and the US, while also revealing that Sainsbury’s and Waitrose are to join the list of retailers selling the company’s Nook devices.

The US bookseller has revealed a seven-inch HD tablet called Nook HD for £159 and a nine-inch tablet, the Nook HD+ for £229, which will go on sale in the UK in November.

Taking a direct swipe at rival Amazon, the company highlighted that the devices were “top quality tablets” which contained “no annoying ads”. B&N’s tablet pricing is competitive, with Amazon recently announcing its seven-inch HD Kindle Fire tablet would also be sold for £159 on 25th October, but would contain adverts. Both compete with Apple which is selling the new Retina iPad tablet for £399.

B&N has also revealed the pricing for its Nook e-readers, which will be set at £79 for the Nook Simple Touch and £109 for the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, which is also competitive to Kindle and Kobo, the latter pricing its device at £79.99 for the Kobo Touch and £149.99 for the Kobo Vox through W H Smith. The Nook devices will be available for pre-order in October, when the www.nook.co.uk website goes live.

Customers of the new Nook tablet devices will be able to watch videos, access emails, use B&N’s read and play books, and read digital books and magazines. A built-in email app will offer personal and work email services, including Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync—after Microsoft invested $300m in B&N in April this year.

As well as the device announcements, Sainsbury’s also revealed it would be selling the Nook devices exclusively in its 270 stores and would no longer be selling the Kobo devices after it had run out of its current stock. Waitrose will also sell Nook devices, along with Kindles, bringing the tally of UK retailers B&N has partnered with to eight, the others being Blackwell’s, Foyles, John Lewis, Argos and Dixons’ Retail companies PC World and Currys.

Sainsbury’s new technology buyer Lindsay Evans said: “The Nook provides avid readers with a portable, easy way to consume literature. General merchandise represents a significant part of our business’ growth and it was critically important to us we found a device partner who understands the specific needs of our customers.”

Yesterday (25th September), B&N revealed it had partnered with Dixons to sell the devices, at the same time as announcing former Carrefour head of e-commerce Patrick Rouvillois as European managing director of its International business. It also revealed its European headquarters was based in Luxembourg.