April 2, 2012
Barnes & Noble incorporates in Germany
by Paul Oliver
There have long been rumors of a push by US retailers, particularly Barnes & Noble, to gain a share of UK and European markets. As B&N loses its physical footprint it will need to replace that revenue with expanded digital offerings, Nook eReader sales and advertising revenue.
According to a report in the German-language Buchreport (Google translation here), the company will be based in Berlin. The report says that Eugene DeFelice will be running the operation; according to this Reuters profile, he is currently the VP, general counsel and corporate secretary of the company. It’s not clear whether this is an interim or permanent appointment.
When B&N hit London last week for its developer event, many came away from the sessions, on building for the Nook platform, with the sense that the idea of pitching to European developers was not yet fully formed. For starters, billing requires U.S. bank accounts, and getting paid for your apps would only be in U.S. dollars.
This is not long after the rumor of Waterstone’s partnering with Barnes & Noble for some sort of Holiday Nook push.
While it is far too early to speculate on how this will affect publishers, it is heartening to see someone take the role as Amazon’s rival seriously. Amazon has already scheduled a European release for a touchscreen eReading device. No date has been given for the release of the Fire. Perhaps B&N is moving to beat Amazon to the touchscreen color device market.
Paul Oliver is the marketing manager of Melville House. Previously he was co-owner of Wolfgang Books in Philadelphia.