Barnes & Noble has announced that ASDA, the UK’s second largest retail chain, is to start selling Nooks. The deal significantly expands the presence of the Nook in the UK market, with around 300 of ASDA’s 500+ UK stores expected to stock the Nook Simple Touch, Nook Simple Touch Glowlight, 7-inch Nook HD and 9-inch Nook HD+ devices.
Owned by US retail giant Walmart, ASDA has around 15% of the UK supermarket industry and is arguably the highest-profile retail partner announced by Barnes & Noble to date. Two other UK supermarkets – Sainsbury’s and Waitrose – have already signed up to sell the Nook, with B&N apparently going for market saturation. Other retail partners include John Lewis, Foyles and Blackwell’s.
Although the ASDA deal is big news for the Nook, it remains to be seen whether the device can mount a serious challenge to Amazon’s Kindle. There’s also the intriguing question of what Tesco is planning to do: the UK’s largest supermarket chain has been uncharacteristically slow in pushing ebooks and e-readers, something that’s likely to change within the next twelve months.