Kobo Signs New Partner in Ireland – Eason
Kobo expanded their retail footprint today with a new Irish partner.
Eason, a leading Irish bookseller with 60 stores across the country, is shutting down their independent ebookstore in favor of a new deal with Kobo. This retailer is going to carry Kobo hardware in stores and on the Eason website. Kobo is saying that their partner will carry the Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura, and Kobo Aura HD, but there is no mention of the newer Android tablets.
Kobo is also going to launch an Irish Kobo store at ie.kobo.com, though it doesn’t appear to be live yet. On a related note, I have no details on when this new partnership will officially commence, but I do know that it has not yet happened today.
Eason is still selling the Sony Reader T1, and their ebookstore appears to still be the non-Kobo setup that they have been operating since at least late 2011. That Sony Reader model is an outdated device, which suggests that it is more of a placeholder than a sign of Eason’s future plans.
Eason has been putting a lot of effort into ebooks and ereaders over the past several years. In late 2011 they even started remodeling their stores to include an ereader dept which stocked a wide variety of models. 25 stores were remodeled at that time, and I am told that more have been switched over since then. Eason also dabbled with the idea of releasing their own branded ereader last year, but I do not know if that ever happened.
Eason will be replacing Hughes & Hughes, an Irish bookseller that signed with Kobo last December. In fact, Kobo could be signing Eason because of the demise of their previous partner. It looks like Hughes & Hughes went belly up earlier this year. Their website is not accessible, at least, and their Facebook page has seen no activity since March 2013.
Kobo has also recently signed new retail partners in India, the Philippines, and Spain. Their next expansion is expected to be in Russia.
Bryan October 30, 2013 um 1:12 pm
I hope Kobo is better in Europe than in the US. I have just had the most nightmarish experience with them trying to order a Kobo Aura. After many many tries, my order finally went through, but they shipped it to the wrong address. And when I finally did get it, the screen was defective – there’s a little piece of metal stuck between the screen and the glass. Talk about a bright spot – it’s like trying to read with a flashlight shining in your eyes. Now I’m trying to return or exchange it. Their customer service is just rude. They told me to send them pictures of the defect, and then they rejected my email. Arghhh. How is Kobo still in business if they treat their customers this way?