Hungry Kobo Opens OZ E-Store
The move was announced by Kobo Australia is part of a global move, a company spokesperson told CN.
The move to direct selling was due to the popularity of Kobo line, which includes Kobo Touch, Glo and Aura HD tablet, and past stock issues were one of the reason cited (the Aura HD tablet previously sold out).
It is also offering consumers Kobo eReader accessories when they purchase an eReader.
Kobo, which is proving a popular alternative to Amazon Kindle, sold three times as many Kobos in Australia than any other quarter in Q4 last, Malcolm Neil, Kobo’s Director Content Acquisition and Publisher Relations APAC told CN earlier this year.
“The move is right in this environment,” the rep added, who denied the move would affect Kobo retailers, which includes Collins Booksellers, JB HiFi, Big W, Myer, Harvey Norman, Bookworld, and Angus & Robertson.
CN was not able to get comment from retailers locally at the time of writing.
The move by Kobo to an online store means consumers will have access to “a lot more variety and availability” of the eReaders, the spokesperson added.
Kobo is owned by Rakuten, the Japanese version of Amazon and its largest eCommerce operator, so setting up an online store network is an obvious move.
|However, it appears Kobo Store is charging more for some of its eReaders compared to retailers like JB Hi-Fi. The 6″ Kobo Touch is $99 at JB’s and $129 at Kobo Store, which offers free shipping.
Kobo says it is continuing to “expand its footprint through retail and publishing partners around the world. “
It is also looking to move into new countries, launching in new markets such as India this year.
The company recently announced a new milestone with 14.5-million registered users.