Waterstones Signs Deal With Amazon To Sell Kindle

Waterstones has announced that it has inked a deal with Amazon to offer the Kindle e-reader range through its high street shops.

The book chain noted that the move is part of a raft of digital initiatives, taking pains to make clear that this was an area which complements its traditional print book selling.

Said digital initiatives are part of an ongoing plan to upgrade Waterstones outlets, with a program of major refurbishment underway, including the addition of coffee shops, free Wi-Fi, and dedicated "digital areas" in-store. All these improvements are planned for 2012.

James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstones, said: "It is a truly exciting prospect to harness also the respective strengths of Waterstones and Amazon to provide a dramatically better digital reading experience for our customers.

"The best digital readers, the Kindle family, will be married to the singular pleasures of browsing a curated bookshop. With the combination of our talents we can offer the exceptional customer proposition to which we both aspire."

Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, commented: "Waterstones is the premier high street bookseller and is passionate about books and readers - a dedication that we share deeply. We could never hope for a better partner to bring together digital reading and the physical bookstore."

Waterstones declined to reveal any details of the deal, but said that further information would be made available in the autumn.

Last month, Microsoft struck a deal with Barnes & Noble to push the Nook e-reader, with backing to the tune of $300 million.