Eason to launch own-brand e-reader

Eason to launch own-brand e-reader

Eason is soon to launch an own-branded e-reader, the Irish Independent reports.

A spokesman for the Irish bookseller revealed the plan in the wake of the announcement on Monday (21st May) that Waterstones with link with Amazon to sell Kindle e-readers and create wi-fi areas instore where customers can download e-books.

Eason had already revealed it was to create dedicated wi-fi areas instore to enable customers to download e-books from the bookseller’s website as part of a €20m plan to modernise the chain, but this is the first time it has revealed plans to launch its own branded hardware.

The plan would be similar to the model used by Barnes & Noble in the US, which has its own-branded e-reader, the Nook, which customers can use to download B&N e-books. Until this week's announcement of the Amazon link-up, Waterstones was widely believed to be in talks with B&N to bring a version of the Nook to its stores. Kobo, partnered with W H Smith in the UK, has recently established an Irish office.

"We are not getting into bed with Amazon, that is for certain," a spokesman for Eason told the Irish Independent. "But as part of a €20m plan to modernise our entire chain, we will be providing live wi-fi in our stores from this summer and dedicated e-book areas which will permit customers to download e-books from our website. The next phase of this process is to launch our own Easons branded e-reader."

The retailer announced in February it had reached an agreement to refinance its bank facilities to support its new business plan, making 150 staff redundant.

Last month, the bookseller, which employs 850 staff over 60 stores in Ireland, announced it was going to roll out a new “children’s experience” in stores called The Artemis, which would feature children’s favourite book characters.