Alert! Kalahari.com, South Africa’s biggest online retailer, and Bargain Books have partnered up in a bid to expand South Africa’s eContent market. Bargain Books, the country’s biggest discount books retailer, will now be stocking the gobii eReader in-store, which puts this new partnership in direct competition with Pick ’n Pay‘s Kobo eReader which was introduced to South Africa this week. Little White Bakkie eBooks can be read on the gobii eReader using the same download method as the Kobo eReader.
Kalahari has also announced an update to their eReader apps for Apple and Android devices:
kalahari.com partners with Bargain Books to expand eContent access in South Africa
kalahari.com, South Africa’s leading online retailer announced today, a partnership with Bargain Books, the country’s biggest discount books retailer. The partnership will see the book retailer selling the gobii eReader in its nationwide stores; a move set to expand access to eBooks to South Africans.
This is the first partnership of this kind in South Africa between a bricks and mortar book store and an established online retailer and eReader distributer. The partnership model has already been tested successfully by the likes of Kobo and the American Booksellers Association (ABA) in the U.S.
kalahari.com, has been spearheading the drive to make eContent more accessible and affordable to South Africans. “We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of eContent in South Africa and we are excited about this partnership as it will offer Bargain Books customers nationwide a digital alternative to their favourite literary titles,” says Liz Hillock, head of marketing at kalahari.com.
Bargain Books is SA’s third biggest book retailer boasting 58 stores nationwide with a footprint in big cities and small towns. The deal marks the retailers venture into electronics and eBooks.
The deal comes at a time where South African readers are increasingly switching to digital. The recent kalahari.com Mobile Shopping Survey shows that more than a third of the country’s online shoppers own a tablet and close to 60% of those who do not own one are considering purchasing a tablet in the near future. “The growing proliferation of these devices is going to spearhead the growth of eBooks. The books market is evolving and we are happy to support Bargain Books in their bid to keep abreast with the latest developments,’’ says Hillock.
The books retailer concurs on the uptake of digital amongst book lovers: “Our philosophy is to provide our customers with choice and value. In light of the constant change and innovation in the market we felt it was the right time to start selling eReaders and offer our huge and mixed customer base an eBook alternative, ’’says John O’Sullivan, Managing Member at Bargain Books.
‘’Once we realised that we needed to keep up with the digital revolution, the question was always which eReader and partner would be feasible for this journey. Instead of spending time building our own eReader, it made sense to partner with South Africa’s biggest online retailer. The partnership not only gives our customers access to a wide catalogue of eBooks from kalahari.com but also the gobii eReader is a great entry level device, which provides exceptional value for our customers,”says O’sullivan.
kalahari.com was the first to market with downloadable eBooks from a local platform. They have also developed a dedicated eBook Reader application for PC, Mac, Ipad and Android devices. The retailer last year launched the gobii eReader in a move to cater to the specific needs of the local market.
Bargain Books customers will now be able to purchase the competitively priced gobii eReader for R799 and have access to a variety of eBooks from kalahari.com through their 58 stores nationwide.