The deal expands distribution of the $260 e-reader to 1,070 Best Buy stores and the retailer’s Web site. Barnes & Noble has been selling the Nook at its 723 retail bookstores and 600-plus college bookstores since last December.
Analysts said Barnes & Noble needed to find new distribution paths for the e-reader to keep up with a changing market.
Though still dominated by the Amazon Kindle e-reader, the market is expanding rapidly. Apple’s iPad is already a force less than two weeks after it started shipping and a variety of e-readers and tablets set to hit the market later this year, many with color screens.
Nonetheless, Kevin Frain, executive president of e-commerce at Barnes & Noble.com, said customer response to the Nook has so far “exceeded our expectations.”
In addition to prominently featuring the Nook at Best Buy stores, the retailer will feature the Barnes & Noble free e-reader on select laptops, desktops, netbooks, tablets and smartphones sold there.