Books-A-Million to carry the Nook exclusively

This little bit of news is probably going to be overlooked, and I suspect most don’t realize how important it is.

Books-A-Million won’t be carrying any ereader other than the Nook. This means that B&N just removed what could have been a serious competitor in the hardware market and B&N extended their brand presence into a competitor’s store (free advertising). Smooth.

From the press release:

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today announced a strategic partnership with Books-A-Million, the nation’s third largest bookseller, to bring award-winning NOOK eReaders to Books-A-Million’s 229 stores as the company’s exclusive eReading devices. The announcement marks the first partnership of its kind between two major bookselling retailers in the United States.

Barnes & Noble’s popular NOOK devices, including the newly announced NOOKcolor, the first full-color touch Reader’s Tablet, and NOOK 3G and Wi-Fi, the most full-featured E Ink® dedicated reading devices, will be the only eReading products available to Books-A-Million’s millions of shoppers.  NOOK will be featured at special in-store displays that include demonstration units for customers to see, hold and try. NOOK products are expected to be available in Books-A-Million bookstores beginning in November.

“We’re excited to work with another bookselling leader to introduce our bestselling NOOK eReading line to an even greater audience of readers,” said Chris Peifer, Vice President, Digital Business Development at Barnes & Noble. “Our NOOK products will support Books-A-Million customers’ love of reading by providing access to the most expansive catalog of digital bestsellers, magazines in vivid color and children’s picture books.”

The partnership signals Barnes & Noble’s ongoing commitment to offer choice for people who love to read, both through the largest selection of traditional and digital content, and via additional storefronts through its partnership with Books-A-Million.

“We wanted to capitalize on the amazing growth in digital content, and the NOOK line became the clear choice to bring our customers a superior offering of easy-to-use, beautifully designed eReading products,” said Craig Hansen, President of Booksamillion.com. “We’re thrilled to partner with Barnes & Noble to deliver Books-A-Million’s book lovers a way to read all the books, magazines and newspapers they love at home and on the go.”

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