Barnes & Noble's plans to partner with Waterstones in the UK might have , but they're still going forward with an international Nook Store. They filed some paperwork with the SEC earlier this week and dropped a few hints.
Here's the key part of the filing:
As part of the partnership with Microsoft described above, the Company, through NewCo, plans to launch the NOOK digital bookstore in 10 countries within 12 months, putting NOOK.com websites onto the screens of tens of millions of Windows users. Once the NOOK digital bookstore is launched, customers in these countries will have access to one of the world’s largest marketplaces of digital copyright content and reading technologies, enabling them to buy and consume books, magazines and other forms of content on the world’s best mobile platforms, including Windows, IOS, and Android. The Company is also exploring opportunities to give consumers outside of the U.S. access to its award-winning NOOK portfolio of reading products through potential distribution partnerships yet to be announced. While there can be no assurances, the Company intends to have one or more distribution agreements in place to sell NOOK devices in certain countries outside the U.S. prior to the 2012 holiday season.
Note that it says they're working to expand both the ebookstore and they're working to sign local distributors for the Nook hardware. I just love it when they use the legally required paperwork to get our attention, don't you?
Elsewhere in the filing B&N mentions that Newco, the new sub created by spinning off the Nook and B&N College divisions, now has 5,283 employees spread between the 2 divisions. They haven't been reorganized yet into a single unit. I'm still working my way through a second time, but there's no hint about the next Nook. Of course, at this point I'm merely assuming there's one coming, but that does seem reasonable.
Now, aside form the number 10 this filing didn't actually tell us anything that hadn't already been leaked, hinted at, or revealed by documents filed elsewhere. We already knew that B&N had plans for international expansion (I still think Canada would be a good first step) via paperwork filed in the Netherlands and Germany. There was even a rumor at one point that Thalia might sell the Nook, but at this point that seems unlikely.
Really, the question of Barnes & Noble 's international expansion is a matter of when, not if. That's been known for a good 8 months now.