updated 09:55 am EDT, Thu October 21, 2010
Barnes and Noble sells Nook in Walmart October 24
Barnes & Noble today preceded its major event next week with a plan to expand Nook sales to Walmart. Both the Nook 3G and the Nook Wi-Fi will make their ways into 2,500 stores on October 24 and later for the same $150 and $200 prices they have today. The e-readers will get a small but special section for live demos.
The Nook has been expanding its retail presence slowly, having moved to Best Buy in April after previously being available only in Barnes & Noble stores. It also comes just over a week after iPads arrived at Walmart and may be a strategy to catch readers who consider the $499 Apple tablet too expensive.
Barnes & Noble is believed to have roughly a fifth of the US e-reader market but has been fighting to improve the Nook business quickly enough that it can offset the decline of paper-based books and its own bookstores. It has been borrowing specific parts of Apple's strategy in the past, such as setting up Apple-style spaces in its stores to steer customers towards its electronic offerings. Apart from Best Buy, the Nook doesn't usually compete in the same physical spaces as Amazon's Kindle, which has been selling in Staples and Target.