WH Smith to sell e-readers

WH Smith has bolstered its e-book offering through a deal with Kobo to sell its e-reader device at 700 of its stores.

WHSmith

The retailer says the deal will complement its traditional book business by offering access to 2.2 million digital books and one million free titles.

Kobo says the partnership with WH Smith in the UK is part of its strategy to expand into Europe and take on Amazon’s Kindle book reader. It claims its wi-fi touchscreen e-reader is the leading device in Australia and Canada.

The news comes as WH Smith reports a fall in like for like sales. This comes despite an increase in pre-tax profit to £93m, up from £89m last year.

Performance was boosted by the group’s travel division, which operates airport and train station stores and saw an 8% increase in profit despite a 3% slide in like for like sales.

High street stores reported a 5% fall in like for like sales and a 2% increase in profit, which CEO Kate Swann says is in line with the company’s strategic cost saving plan.

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