Barnes & Noble Nook on way to Wal-Mart shelves

By Reuters
Posted Oct. 21, 2010 at 5:10 p.m.

Barnes & Noble Inc. will ship its Nook electronic readers to 2,500 Wal-Mart stores this month to reach more shoppers ahead of the holiday season.

The devices will hit Wal-Mart shelves as soon as Oct. 24 and will be available on the discount chain’s Web site, the world’s largest bookstore chain said in a statement Thursday.

Many bookstores have suffered as readers buy more of their books online or in electronic form.

Among adults who do not have an e-reader, just more than one in 10 — or 12 percent — said they were likely to get one in the next six months, according to a recent online poll of 2,775 adults surveyed by Harris Interactive.

Wal-Mart will offer two Nook models — Nook 3G, which offers free AT&T 3G wireless and W-Fi connectivity, as well as Nook Wi-Fi, a Wi-Fi only model.

Both will give buyers access to the Barnes & Noble eBookstore with more than 1 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers, mostly priced at $9.99 or less, and more than 500,000 free titles.

Barnes & Noble has garnered a 20 percent share of the e-books market and has forecast online sales rising 75 percent, to $1 billion this fiscal year.

Separately, e-reader maker Kobo Inc., which has a deal to co-brand devices with Borders Group Inc., the No. 2 U.S. bookstore chain, said on its Web site that its wireless e-readers would be available for sale at 2,500 U.S. Wal-Mart stores starting next week.

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