Borders launches mobile book store

The digital book store will be integrated with Borders.com. Sales through the Borders-branded virtual stores will be booked by Borders.

“This partnership is a significant step in Borders’ digital strategy of providing ebooks however our customers want them,” said Mary Davis, spokeswoman for Borders, Ann Arbor, MI. “Joining with other leading partners in an ebook enterprise that is truly global, device agnostic and open is the right move for Borders as the digital market continues to evolve.

“Further, this agreement is capital efficient and allows us to maintain the customer connection with our brand without losing critical time to market,” she said. “We look forward to building on this key element of our strategy as we address the growing ebook opportunity while also remaining committed to improving our brick and mortar superstore business.”

Borders is a specialty retailer of books and other educational and entertainment items.

Kobo is an eReading service backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music, Borders Group, REDGroup Retail and Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd.

Keeping the brand connection
Kobo’s mobile applications are device-neutral, so consumers can purchase books on any smartphone, such as the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre or Android.

Borders and Kobo said they plan to launch these new services during the second quarter of 2010.

Borders looks at the partnership as an opportunity to maintain brand connection with its customers, because it gives the company an ebook store integrated into Borders.com as well as a Borders-branded mobile application. Kobo will power both of those platforms.

“Customers will have access to great content, about 2 million titles, and because the platform is open and device agnostic, they can enjoy this content anytime and anywhere on a device of their choice,” Ms. Davis said.

Borders said it is this partnership helps it target readers of all ages.

Ms. Davis said it was too early to talk about how Borders will be marketing the new platform, but she did say the book retailer will certainly market its eBook stores to members of the Borders Rewards loyalty program.

Borders Rewards has more than 35 million members.

Like with many mobile programs, Ms. Davis said Borders is taking literature mobile for the convenience factor.

“Consumers want the convenience of enjoying books when they want and how they want,” Ms. Davis said. “As a leading book retailer, we are meeting our customers’ needs by providing an incredible selection of books in the formats they enjoy.”