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.
The 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.