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Best Buy To Start Selling Nook

April 12, 2010

Best Buy Co. Inc. is going to start carrying Barnes & Noble Inc.’s electronic book reader “Nook.”

The Nook will be available for $259.99 in 1,070 Best Buy stores beginning on April 18, which makes the electronics retailer the first chain to start carrying the device other than Barnes & Noble.

Best Buy will also start including Barnes & Noble’s BN eReader software on some of the personal computers and smartphones it sells.

The Nook is currently only available at Barnes & Noble’s website and its 723 bookstores.

The Nook was first launched in October to try and compete against Amazon.com’s Kindle and Sony Corp’s Sony Reader, however the device just arrived in stores in February.

The company has changed its focus to the e-book market to overcome a long-term sales decline at its brick-and-mortar stores.

Analysts say that digital books account for 5 percent of overall U.S. book industry sales, and they expect more readers to migrate to the format.

Barnes & Nobles named William Lynch chief executive officer last month, who oversaw the development and launch of Nook.

The company’s physical stores saw a 5.5 percent decline during the holiday quarter, while online sales soared to 32 percent.

The deal with Best Buy will bring the Nook into even heavier competition with Apple’s iPad, which is an advanced e-reader that is also sold at Best Buy.

Last week, Apple said that it has sold about 450,000 iPads in its first few days of being released.  Barnes & Noble and Amazon have declined to provide sales figures for their devices, but each say its device is seeing sturdy sales.

Best Buy also carries Sony’s e-reader, but Amazon continues to market the Kindle strictly through its website.

Apple announced on Thursday that its new iPhone operating system, which is expected to be released this summer, will also have the ability to read e-books.

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