The world of online retail is about to clash with the physical world, as book chain Waterstones has announced a new partnership with online retail giant Amazon.
The new partnership will see Amazon’s Kindle ereaders and other services go on sale in Waterstones stores later this year.
Ereaders have, for a long time, been seen as something of a threat to the traditional book store, as they generally offer a lower price for ebooks than shops do for physical books.
But it seems that Waterstones wants to put an end to that threat by incorporating the Kindle ereader into its business, and launching a number of other Kindle services.
Waterstones incorporating Kindle
“At Waterstones, we are committed to improving our bookshops quite radically to offer the best possible book-buying experience,” said Waterstones boss James Daunt.
“It is a truly exciting prospect to harness also the respective strengths of Waterstones and Amazon to provide a dramatically better digital reading experience for our customers.”
Waterstones is the UK’s largest book shop chain, with almost 300 stores. It is currently undergoing a radical refurbishment after being sold by HMV last year.
The overhaul will see Waterstones stores get dedicated digital areas, free Wi-Fi zones and new coffee shops designed to draw customers in.
Good news for Amazon
The bookseller says the Amazon partnership is an integral part of the new refurbishment, with the Kindle slotting in nicely to the company’s digital outlook.
The partnership will also benefit Amazon, which will see its ereader go on display at Waterstones stores up and down the country.
“Waterstones is the premier high street bookseller and is passionate about books and readers – a dedication that we share deeply,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon chief executive.
“We could never hope for a better partner to bring together digital reading and the physical bookstore,” he added.