The famous Irish bookseller store Eason and Son has been in the book business since 1819, so for almost two centuries. The retail chain has 60 stores and is currently expanding its infrastructure investing almost 1.1 million pounds in this process. Furthermore, the company will be launching an e-store for digital books.
Customers will be able to buy and download ebooks from their online store. It has also been confirmed that Eason is planning to launch its own branded ebook reader pretty soon. They are planning to launch the device by the end of the current year and it is said to support the existing digital zone of the store. No other details of the device have been released so far.
Eason and Son have a wide experience in online book sales as they’ve been doing it for many years. The company has been selling digital books successfully through seven outlets which are carrying this facility. The head of marketing and retail development, David Field said to the Irish Times: “It is almost like a department within our book departments. People can come in, buy an e-reader, go online and download books there and then.” He also said “sales of e-books were increasing almost 10-fold on a monthly basis”. David also confirmed to the news that “Eason currently sells a range of e-readers and we have plans to launch our own e-reader later this year.”
From the progress, one can safely analyze that Eason is planning to travel down the road of Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Customers can pick up ebook readers from the outlets and can buy ebooks directly from the store. Eason have already revealed that the store will be creating Wi-Fi zones within the retail stores for the customers to download ebooks through their websites directly in the store. But the plan to launch its own device is a new development towards modernization of this old book store.
“We are not getting into bed with Amazon, that is for certain,” speaking to the Irish Independent, a store spokesman said. “But as part of a €20m plan to modernize our entire chain, we will be providing live Wi-Fi in our stores from this summer and dedicated ebook areas which will permit customers to download ebooks from our website. The next phase of this process is to launch our own Eason’s branded e-reader.”
Launching the company’s own ebook readers is a smart idea, as simple reliance on 3rd party devices for provision of hardware is unprofitable for the ebook retail store. If they launch their own branded product, people will be attracted to the stores in Ireland and in turn, this will add to the digital profits.
Last month, the retailer also announced new additions in their children section which would feature children favorite characters from their favorite books.