Barnes & Noble Uses its Brick & Mortar Advantage Against Amazon's Kindle

Chris CrumIT Management

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The e-book/e-reader wars are really heating up. Amazon has plenty of good news to share around its Kindle device. Now Barnes & Noble is talking about a major push to increase Nook sales.

Julie Bosman with the New York Times reports that in September, the company will start putting a great deal of emphasis on Nook in its brick and mortar stores, and that could go a long way in helping it compete with Amazon's increasingly successful Kindle.

According to Bosman, the Nook's physical in-store presence will include 1,000-square-foot boutiques in all B&N stores with sample Nook devices, demo tables, video screens, and employees giving Nook-related advice and instructions to customers.

"By devoting more floor space to promoting the Nook, Barnes & Noble is playing up what it calls a crucial advantage over Amazon in the e-reader war: its 720 bricks-and-mortar stores, where customers can test out the device before they commit to buying it," she writes.

Nook made a big impact in June when it dropped the price of its 3G version to $199 (along with the release of a new Wi-Fi version of the device). Not to be outdone, Amazon quickly dropped the price of its Kindle from $259 to $189.

This week, Amazon introduced a new generation of Kindles, including a cheaper Wi-Fi version. The price of the new smaller 3G + Wi-Fi Kindle is $189, while the Wi-Fi only version costs $139.

Amazon recently announced that it had sold more Kindle e-books than hardback books. Now the company is claiming that they'll outsell paperbacks as soon as next year.

I would not be surprising to see Amazon make a quick push to sell more Kindles before B&N can get its physical boutiques ready. After all, customers who already own a Kindle are less likely to be in the market for a Nook. We'll see what Amazon's next move is.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.