Sunday, 20 May 2012
"We'll be better than Amazon." Waterstones to launch own eReader device and store
Waterstones have been dropping hints of a new eReader device but they won't say if they'll be commissioning their own device or sponsoring an existing device as Barnes and Noble do with the Nook.
Waterstones has about 300 stores in the UK.And unlike other big chains they have resisted the need to close stores in order to cope with lost revenue, however the days of being able to see a Waterstones store from the window of another Waterstones store have long gone, but James Duant says that Waterstones are selling reading and as the digital medium becomes more and more important to readers, it has become imperative that Waterstones develop an eReader. The company's managing director, James Daunt, told Radio 4's You and Yours that he had been inspired by Barnes & Noble's successful Nook device.
The US bookseller is one of the few high street retailers to have challenged Amazon's growing dominance in both physical and electronic sales.
Amazon customers now buy more Kindle titles than paper versions.Waterstone's is currently in the midst of a shake-up after being bought from HMV Group by Russian businessman Alexander Mamut.
James Daunt was brought in by the new owner in an attempt to reverse its declining sales.Entering the hardware market would be an ambitious move for Waterstone's and likely involve it partnering with a major electronics company.
However the chain are said to be preparing a statement about their own eReading system.
UPDATE-SINCE WRITING THIS PIECE WATERSTONE'S JAMES DUANT HAS NOW DONE A DEAL WITH AMAZON AND DECIDED THAT HE WANTS THE MONEY MAKING DEVIL AFTER ALL.