Kobo will become the dominant ebook provider in New Zealand as a result of new partnerships with Booksellers New Zealand members and the Paper Plus Group.
Kobo announced the new retail partnerships in a statement on 9 October. The ebook provider already supplies ebooks to former REDgroup-owned Whitcoulls. Kobo ereading devices are sold through Whitcoulls and stores in the Noel Leeming group in New Zealand.
Kobo said the new partnerships will ‘bring Kobo to almost 300 retail locations across the country’. Kobo said independent Booksellers New Zealand members will stock Kobo ereaders, including the recently announced Kobo Mini, Kobo Glo and Kobo Arc, and will sell Kobo ebooks through a ‘shared-revenue model’.
Booksellers NZ CEO Lincoln Gould said that the association’s members will be able to ‘engage in this new opportunity before Christmas’. ‘We will be working with our members immediately to equip them with all the technical support, training and marketing tools,’ said Gould.
The partnership with the Paper Plus Group, which includes Paper Plus and Take Note retail stores, will also be rolled out before Christmas. ‘From early November, customers will have the option to purchase Kobo products, which will be available at all Paper Plus stores nationwide, as well as from paperplus.co.nz,’ said Kobo.
Paper Plus Group CEO Rob Smith said the group hasn’t ‘taken the decision of getting into the ebook and ereader market lightly’, but said ‘it’s clear that New Zealanders are embracing the technology’. ‘Our ability to bring the Kobo ereading platform to our customers allows us to diversify and help people turn more pages,’ he said.
Kobo partners with Collins Booksellers and Bookworld in Australia, and Kobo devices are sold in JB HiFi, Officeworks, Harvey Norman and Good Guys outlets. The ebook provider has also recently announced retail partnerships with booksellers associations in the US and in the UK and Ireland.