Borders, which is stepping up efforts to market eReaders, said sales of the Kobo eReader as well as pre-orders for Aluratek and Velocity Micro eReaders have exceeded expectations.
Sales of the Kobo eReader, particularly, were described as “well ahead of expectations,” during a Borders conference call with analysts Wednesday.
These results should be heartening to 2nd and 3rd tier vendors who have seen their opportunities in eReaders dwindle, as the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook moved to lower price points.
Borders plans on stocking additional eReader brands, which it will announce in “coming weeks.” And it will start rolling out is Area-e in-store digital shops in early October. The shops will stock eReaders and accessories. They will be included in all stores, but will be scaled to different sizes. Full Area-e shops will be in 150 Borders stores. Salesmen have undergone training and will continue to receive instruction in selling eReaders, the company told analysts.
The bookseller currently carries 6 eReader models including 2 Sony devices, the Kobo eReader, the Aluratek Libre Pro, and Velocity Micro Cruz Reader and Cruz Tablets. Most of its eReader sales occur in the stores rather than on line at this point, Borders said.
Tuesday, Borders announced it dropped the prices on basic eReaders: the Aluratek Libre and Kobo eReader to $99.99 and $129.99 (from $129 and $149).