Starting in September, Collins customers in Australia will be able to purchase Kobo devices in store, as well as shop for Kobo ebooks from Collins’ website. According to CNET Australia, Kobo will keep its current online partnership with as well.

There doesn’t seem to be a direct link to this press release on either company’s website this morning, so the copy below was lifted from BookBee:

Collins Booksellers Announce Partnership with Kobo a Leading, Global, eReading Service

Collins Selects the Kobo Wireless eReader and Kobo’s World-class Content Catalogue – Offering Another Way for their Customers to Read.

Melbourne – Australia Friday July 22, 2011: Australian book retailer Collins Booksellers has reached agreement to partner with Kobo, a global leader in eReading with more than 4.3 million users in over 100 countries worldwide, to deliver eReading to their customers.

The partnership will enable Collins Booksellers customers to engage in reading on a whole new level with Kobo, as well as attract a new reading audience with the technological advancements Kobo brings to e-reading.

The Collins Booksellers launch with Kobo, will be timed to coincide with the relaunch of the Collins website in September 2011 that is the cornerstone of Collins shift towards becoming a fully integrated multi channel retailer.

The Kobo Wireless eReader will be available for purchase in all Collins stores and online at Kobo pre-orders can be placed via the Collins website from August 1, 2011.

“Kobo’s goal is to bring eReading to more people in more places, and inspire people around the world to spend more time reading. We are excited to partner with Collins Books, to deliver a world class eReader and content catalogue to their customers,” said Todd Humphrey, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Kobo. Added Humphrey, “People can take the Kobo Wireless eReader with them anywhere and read for hours just like a real book, with ultimate comfort and no distraction. The new Kobo Wireless eReader is designed for people who love to read.”

“Collins Booksellers is excited to be partnering with Kobo in the Australian marketplace to bring to our customers an expansive list of titles including a wide selection of local Australian content. Collins Booksellers partnership with Kobo enables our franchisees to grow their business and meet the growing e- book needs of their customers” said Duncan Johnston, Chairman Collins Booksellers.

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“Collins Booksellers customers are part of the growing e-book reading community and the partnership with Kobo provides us with the opportunity to provide the best e-reader technology with an expansive e-bookshop to compliment our extensive Collins Booksellers store network and online business. Collins recognises the changing needs of our customers and our focus is on delivering the best book retail experience in store and online for books in all formats and including Kobo eReaders” said Daniel Jordon CEO Collins Booksellers.

Featuring a Worldclass eBook Store

The Collins website, as well as offering a full catalogue of physical books, will feature an e-book store powered by Kobo, available at starting in September, which will offer our customers access to more than 2.4 million eBooks, through Kobo. Customers can now browse and shop from one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world that offers a vast selection of local Australian titles – in addition to the hottest new releases, bestsellers, thrillers, romance, suspense and more – there is a book for everyone.

Collins Booksellers will feature the Kobo Wireless eReader, which allows users to easily browse and buy eBooks anytime, anyplace on the go. The Kobo Wireless eReader, was designed by booklovers for booklovers, with no interference of a keyboard or buttons, and the signature Kobo soft quilted back allows for a long comfortable reading experience. Not just a device – the Kobo eReader will be available in three stylish colours; Lilac, Silver, and Onyx, a colour for every occasion.

The Kobo Wireless eReader is lightweight and compact, fits easily in a pocket or handbag, and can carry up to a thousand books. Plus, the Kobo Wireless eReader makes it easy to start that first book as it comes pre-loaded with 100 free, engaging classics – so users can start reading right out of the box. The eInk screen is just like reading print on paper, and is easy-on-the eyes, even in bright sunlight. With the Kobo Wireless eReader users can easily customise their read by selecting from two font styles and five font sizes.

The Kobo partnership with Collins Booksellers follows other recent announcements. In early July 2011 Collins Booksellers acquired a group of A&R franchisees and its store network will increase to over 70 stores by September 2011. Collins Booksellers also acquired online book retailer Seek Media in June 2011 and will soon to announce other new projects that will benefit all Collins franchisees and its customers. In a first for franchise book retailing, Collins franchisees will receive a percentage revenue share of all online sales including e-books sold to customers within their assigned territory.

For more commentary, check out The Digital Reader’s take on the partnership.


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