B&N decides Deutschland über alles with German market entry

Barnes & NobleGerman book press has picked up on the news that Barnes & Noble is still pressing on with its launch plans in Germany.

According to the original article, “Barnes & Noble still wants to expand to Germany this year,” this follows on the establishment of Barnes & Noble GmbH in Berlin and a statement by the U.S. book giant’s CEO that the company would be debuting in international markets from June 10th. June has come with no sign of B&N, the article points out, but company staffers are still heralding expansion into 10 international markets within the next six months.

Barnes & NobleThe report singles out “price dumping” as the growth driver for B&N’s planned push, citing the €35 price point of the Nook Simple Touch in the UK after the latest price cuts. Others will find it very hard to match such prices, the article concludes, and adds that B&N’s launch delay in Germany was to give time to digest the results of its UK launch, the first step outside the U.S.

I’d be interested to see how important B&N’s German expansion is going to be to the German e-book market, though—rather than to B&N itself. Amazon.de currently offers the Kindle Paperwhite at €129 and the Kindle 4 discounted to €69, and according to Reuters, already makes more in Germany—albeit across all product lines—than it does in the UK. Kobo also operates its German bookstore. German booksellers have also clubbed together to launch their own Tolino e-reader (pictured at right), with 300,000 books offered on its integrated bookstore.

Even the supposedly predatory pricing of the Nook Simple Touch may not be enough to lure German readers away from competing platforms. (You can see a breakdown of e-book readers available in Germany here.) The German Publishers and Booksellers Association’s website libreka.de currently offers “2,066,111 books from over 1,825 publishers with over 50 million book pages available for purchase and 750,006 e-books available for search.”

Some argue, though, that the German e-book market is still only emerging, with plenty left to play for.

4 Comments on B&N decides Deutschland über alles with German market entry

  1. You’d think B&N would focus on English-speaking markets first. Canada comes to mind … as do Australia, New Zealand or even India.

    B&N reports year end (Apr 30) results on Jun 25. Should be some news, one way or the other, by then.

  2. I recently noticed there now is a Nook Magazine Import category with not only UK magazines, but also Dutch, German and Italian ones.

  3. I would agree that the German market is fa behind the US: Recent data shows, that ebooks hold only a 2,4% share of the German book market. Those numbers might be off, as the same study shows a share of 9,5% of ebooks for publishers which makes me guess that some channels are not fully represented (probably Amazon).

    Nevertheless I believe there is still a lot to gain for high quality ebook shops, as the choice is still quite limited for readers. Some people don’t want to buy from Amazon because of their closed system and the alternatives aren’t as good in many ways (search functions, amount of ebooks, meta-data etc.).

    The data ca be found here, unfortunately only in German: http://www.boersenblatt.net/624650/

  4. Phil Olynyk // June 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm //

    I’m guessing that expansion to Canada will come last, since it is obviously the closest to New York City.

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