Kobo Inks Deal With UK Booksellers Association, Building on Momentum From ABA Partnership

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Building on its momentum from a recently signed deal with the American Booksellers Association that could see Kobo devices and e-books sold in independent bookshops across the country, the Toronto-based e-reader and e-book company has inked a deal with the UK’s Booksellers Association. The Booksellers Association represents about 1,000 bookstores in the UK and Ireland.

[Press Release]

KOBO EXPANDS GLOBAL BOOKSELLER NETWORK, POWERS INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORES ACROSS THE UK & IRELAND
New Partnership with Booksellers Association Brings Kobo to Another 1000 Bookstores in the UK & Ireland

Toronto / London – 18th September 2012 – Kobo, a leader in eReading with over 10 million registered users worldwide, today announced a partnership with the Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland to offer its 3000 member stores, 1000 of which are independents, the ability to bring Kobo’s world class eReading platform to their consumers. Kobo continues to build on its strategy of working with booksellers around the world now serving over 14,000 booksellers in 12 countries.

This partnership announcement comes on the heels of the successful launch of Kobo’s new family of eReaders and recent partnership with the American Booksellers Association (ABA).  Combined with its existing relationship with WH Smith and its network of 1,100 stores and 100 Kobo Shops across the UK, this new partnership further strengthens Kobo’s foothold within the UK market and with booksellers around the world.  Kobo eReaders are also available at Asda, Dixons, Currys, John Lewis, Staples, Argos and other leading retailers in the UK.

“We are very excited to work with independent bookstores across the UK and Ireland to bring eReading to more  booklovers,” said Todd Humphrey, Executive Vice President Business Development, Kobo. “With this partnership, independents will be able to offer a world class eReading solution to their loyal customers and have a voice in the digital transformation.”

“We are delighted that Kobo has decided to expand its services in the UK. The BA wants e-book platforms to provide our members with easy, competitive, proven eBook retailing solutions,” said Tim Godfray, Chief Executive, Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland, “also, for the customers of our bookshops to have access to a broad and diverse inventory of eBooks.  Kobo ticks these boxes and gives our members increased choice of supplier.  Today’s readers want a first-class shopping experience, both in-store and online, and Kobo has the infrastructure to help independent booksellers to meet the ever-changing needs of shoppers in a dynamic marketplace.”

Booksellers will be able to offer a complete eReading experience for their customers, including new eReaders – Kobo Mini, Kobo Touch, Kobo Glo and new Android tablet, Kobo Arc  – a full line of accessories, and eBooks from Kobo’s eBook catalog of over 3 million eBooks.   Kobo’s program for booksellers includes knowledgeable training, in-store merchandising, marketing, sales, and logistics solutions to help booksellers be successful. The Association’s members will also be able to sell eBooks directly to their customers online, and members will share in the revenue on every sale.

KOBO’S GLOBAL BOOKSELLER NETWORK
In less than three years since the company was founded, Kobo has developed its international presence through partnering with booksellers to capitalise on the growth of eReading around the world. First-class booksellers continue to join Kobo’s global network of leading booksellers that include Indigo (Canada), WHSmith (UK), ABA (US), FNAC (France), Mondadori (Italy), Libris (Netherlands), Collins (Australia), Whitcoulls (New Zealand) and Rakuten (Japan). Through the partnership with the Booksellers Association of the UK & Ireland, Kobo adds to this network of booksellers to further build on the vision of making eReading accessible to everyone, everywhere around the world.

In addition to the very popular and award winning Kobo Touch eReader, Kobo’s device family has recently expanded and now includes:

KOBO GLO – READ COMFORTABLY DAY OR NIGHT
The new front-lit, Kobo Glo is the next generation in comfortable eReading. It offers innovative soft, even and adjustable ComfortLight technology to enable consumers to read anytime – day or night. Its durable screen and customizable page-turning features make it the perfect eReader for the hardcore booklover. The Kobo Glo eReader comes in Black or White and a selection of stylish colours – Pink Sunset, Blue Moon, Silver Star – and will be available starting October 1st for £99.99 MSRP.

KOBO MINI – SMALL IS A BIG DEAL
The world’s smallest and lightest full-featured E Ink eReader available today, offering the full Kobo experience at a great value. The 5” Kobo Mini easily fits in a pocket and is loaded with all the amazing features Kobo customers have come to know and love. Just like reading print on paper, the no-glare 5” E Ink screen is easy on the eyes – even in bright sunlight. Available in black or white with a selection stylish Kobo SnapBacks in Teal, Ruby Red, and Purple.  Perfect for people on-the-go, young adults, and easy for first-time readers to hold and read, the highly portable Kobo Mini holds up to 1,000 eBooks and will be available starting October 1st for £59.99 MSRP.

KOBO ARC – READS YOU LIKE A BOOK
The new Kobo Arc offers booklovers a competitively featured Android 4.0 multimedia tablet with a new way to discover content – books, movies, TV shows, music, web pages and more.  With a Kobo-developed interface called Tapestries, Kobo Arc gives consumers an exciting new way to discover content.  Using an intelligent cross-media recommendations engine, Tapestries responds to the user’s “pinned” content to recommend related videos, movies, books, webpages and other related content. Plus, users have access more than 600,000 of their favourite apps with Google® Play ®. The Kobo Arc is available in Black and White with Blue and Purple interchangeable SnapBacks and available this November, starting at £159.99 (16G).

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