Everyone has long since known that Barnes & Noble has plans to expand internationally but no one out side of B&N knows where they plan to launch first - until now.is reporting that B&N has supposedly formed a partnership with Thalia, one of Germany's larger bookstore chains.
Chip.de didn't indicate their source for this story, so I would take it with a large grain of salt. But even though it is a rumor, it's still quite plausible.
We know that B&N has already registered a local subsidiary in Germany. This was back in March, and I've been told that the German sub indicated plans for the German market, but that was more due to the fact that the B&N's other subsidiary, the one in the Netherlands, was positioned in a more business friendly environment.
While we don't know if Thalia is B&N's intended partner, they are one of the more likely candidates. They have over 200 stores in Germany, and they've also been putting a lot of effort into developing their own ebookstore and ereader. They've even released a couple models (Oyo, last year. This developer specializes in reading and ebook apps, and that should give you an idea how seriously they are taking the ebook market.), though I don't know how much success they've had on the market. Thalia also bought an app developer by the name of Textunes
On the other hand, there is at least one other possible partner in Germany; Weltbild. This publisher and media retailer has released a number of ereaders under its own brand in the past year. All were rebranded devices originally developed by other companies, and that would likely give Weltbild a step up in rebranding the Nook. Weltbild is also currently up for sale by its owner, the Catholic Church, so there's even a chance that B&N might buy it. Assuming they had the funds, it might even be a good idea.
In any case, I agree withthat B&N is working with someone in Germany; I'm just not convinced that it's Thalia.