In its war with Amazon over digital territory, Barnes & Noble is firing it’s next salvo. In September, the chain will start rolling out 1,000-square-foot Nook boutiques in all of its stores.
Playing up its brick-and-mortar hands-on advantage, the bookseller told The NY Times that it will feature demo tables, video screens and employees to give advice. A month ago, B&N also said the departments will feature other eReaders.
“American consumers want to try and hold gadgets before they purchase them,” William Lynch, new B&N chief exec told the Times.
This Christmas may be the first time many consumers consider buying an eReader and most people have not yet read an eBook.
The expanded demo areas for the Nook are the latest skirmish in an escalating war between the book sellers.
According to Digitimes Research, Barnes & Noble took the lead in eReader global shipments for the second quarter with a 33 percent share, followed by Amazon’s 27 percent. But Forrester Research notes that shipments are not the same as sales, “especially when one competitor [Amazon] is anticipating a new product launch which would cause them to slow down shipments of previous models,” according to analyst James McQuivey.
In the U.S., 2/3rds of those who have an eReader, have a Kindle. Plus 69 percent of those who plan to buy an eReader, are eyeing the Kindle, Forrester studies show. Sony and Barnes & Noble are neck and neck for the remaining third of the market, said a Forrester report.
Photo: Nook TV ad