Ann Arbor, Mich. - Borders Group opened the virtual doors of
its eBook store on Wednesday and announced plans to launch dedicated e-reader departments
in almost all of its Borders superstores in early September.
store, created by global e-reading service Kobo, launched with more than 1.5
million titles, including thousands of free titles, in a variety of formats,
including EPUB, mobile and PDF. The company is targeting a 17 percent share of
the e-book market by this time next year.
In its brick-and-mortar Borders superstores,
the company will open so-called "Area-e" sections where consumers will be able
to try out and buy an expanded selection of e-readers. The sections will be
staffed by what the company called "knowledgeable associates who will demo
products and answer customers' questions." Each Area-e section will carry
anywhere from seven to 10 e-readers, a spokesperson told TWICE.
sells the Kobo e-reader, two Sony e-readers and Aluratek's Libre eBook Reader
Pro through www.Borders.com
. The Sony
models are also available through all Borders superstores and airport stores,
and the Kobo model is currently in about 125 Borders superstores.
Group operates more than 508 Borders superstores in the U.S. and three stores
in Puerto Rico. The company also operates around 173 stores in its Waldenbooks
Specialty Retail group, including Waldenbooks, Borders Express, and Borders
prepares for the September e-Area launch, Borders Group plans by the end of
this month to expand sales of its Kobo e-reader to "virtually all our stores
chain wide," the spokesperson said. By Friday, the Kobo model will be in every Borders
superstore and every airport store, and by July 23, it will be in every
company-owned store, she pointed out.
might also roll out additional e-readers through its Waldens Specialty Retail
outlets, she added.
started selling the Kobo and Libre in recent weeks and said both models, priced
at less than $150, "have surpassed sales expectations." The Kobo e-reader is
available at $149, and the Libre eBook Reader Pro retails for $119 on preorder
for July 20 availability. The Sony Touch is available at $169, and the Sony
Pocket retails for $149.
to emerge as a retail leader within the digital category is just starting," said
Borders CEO Mike Edwards "During the past several months, we've been carefully
crafting a digital strategy, one that has great content and a device-neutral
philosophy backed by the Borders brand as its cornerstones. We believe we are
very well positioned to come out strong and to ultimately claim about a 17
percent e-book market share by this time next year."
With device neutrality in mind, the company
announced the availability of its Kobo-developed e-reader application for BlackBerry
and Android smartphones. The free apps, available for download at www.borders.com
, work with
the BlackBerry Curve, Tour 9630 and Bold as well as Android devices. The apps let
users browse, buy, download, and read e-books and search for books by title,
author, topic or keyword. The apps
follow the launch of Borders iPhone and iPad e-reader apps, also developed by
is an e-book
service backed by Indigo Books & Music, Borders Group, REDgroup Retail and
Cheung Kong Holdings. The company's "Powered by Kobo" program is targeted to hardware
manufacturers and retailers that want to launch e-readers or e-book stores.
Kobo partners get access to a catalog of more than 2 million titles as well as applications
for smartphones, netbooks, laptops, tablets and dedicated e-readers.
Ann Arbor, Mich. - Borders Group opened the virtual doors of its eBook store on Wednesday and announced plans to launch dedicated e-reader departments in almost all of its Borders superstores in early September.