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B&N Names Argos, Blackwell’s, & Foyles as UK Retail Partners

Barnes & Noble put out another press release this morning naming 3 more retail partners in the UK. In addition to John Lewis (announced Tuesday), we now know that the Nook ereaders will be carries by Argos, Blackwell’s, and Foyles.  Those 3 chains are a major retailer and 2 smaller booksellers, respectively. They’re still carrying only the Nook Touch and the Nook Glow devices, but like John Lewis there is no mention of the Nook Color or Nook Tablet.

Okay, so the Nook now has the start of a decent retail presence in the UK, which will likely grow. Good. Now I can turn my eye to the more interesting story.

B&N and Amazon seem to be having a press release war this week. They’ve both been issuing press releases for various stories, including ones today for the UK retail partners (B&N) and the expansion of the Amazon Appstore into Europe. I don’t yet know the reason for this fight but it is entertaining. It’s also worth noting because it’s a sign that B&N might be holding a launch event fairly soon. We know Amazon has one next week, so it’s possible that B&n also has an event in September.

Any guesses as to why?

Personally, I think the lack of a mention of the NC and NT might be a clue. The UK partners won’t be carrying B&N’s enhanced ereaders because B&N is about to launch a new model. If anyone cares to slip me a copy of the spec sheet, you know where to find me.

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Geert August 30, 2012 um 12:59 pm

The reason that the NC and NT will not be sold in the UK is probably rights.
All content that makes the NC and NT attractive: apps, enhanced magazines, enhanced books and interactive childrens books is US-only. B&N is not allowed to sell that content to the UK.
And remember the NC and NT are locked devices. You cannot buy apps, magazines and enhanced and interactive books that are compatible with the NC and NT from other sources than B&N.

Nate Hoffelder August 30, 2012 um 1:06 pm

Considering that B&N wrote the contract for the app developers to sign, I seriously doubt that they’d be so foolish as to leave out such an obvious expansion opportunity as international sales. The same goes for the magazine content.

And besides, this is 2012. No one expects all the content to be available everywhere. We might not like regional restrictions but we do know about them.

Geert August 30, 2012 um 1:50 pm

Magazines are created and sold (see the magazine details on the B&N website) by the publishers.
Amazon only this week made their apps available outside the US, and then only for 5 countries. And they already were an international company when they opened their app store.
Publishers love geo-restrictions.
Amazon apps becoming available in the UK probably means that the new Kindle Fire announced next week will be sold in the UK, and B&N will be too late again.

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