Kobo partners with Eason

Kobo partners with Eason

Kobo is to sell its e-reading devices through 60 Eason stores in Ireland following a new partnership between the two companies.

The Irish chain will sell a full range of Kobo devices in stores and through its website, while a new website, www.ie.kobo.com, has been set up for Irish readers to access Kobo e-books online.

Conor Whelan, m.d. at Eason & Son, said: "After reviewing a number of different options for the business we are delighted to partner with Kobo in offering our customers the best platform we believe for content and devices. This partnership is a key component of our digital strategy and will ensure that Eason remains a leading retailer of physical and digital books in Ireland."

Last year, Eason announced plans to launch its own e-reader, in the same way that Barnes & Noble in the US created the Nook device.

Kobo c.e.o. Mike Serbinis said Eason was "a company that like Kobo, stands for readers—those most passionate about storytelling and the written word". He added: "Together, we will help people across the country read more—any time, any place and on any device they choose."

The news comes alongside an announcement that Kobo is opening a new European Software Development Centre in Dublin. Supported by IDA Ireland, a government agency responsible for bringing foreign investment to the country, Kobo will create an office with 30 software developers.

Eoghan Murphy, the Irish parliamentary representative for Dublin South East, said: "It makes sense for Kobo to choose Dublin as its base for European operations because we are the tech capital of Europe. But there’s also a nice tie-in from a cultural perspective because Dublin is a UNESCO city of literature. And the partnership with a traditional company like Eason’s is great to see and we can be certain that this will lead to a number of spin-off jobs being created as a result."

Kobo has previously partnered with Irish bookshop chain Hughes & Hughes.