The world's largest Internet retailer, Amazon.com, plans to sell its Kindle e-book tablet at Virgin Megastore outlets in France as it tries to inject life into a market that has been slow to take off in the country.
The Virgin Megastore chain said on Tuesday that it had reached an exclusive deal in France to sell the electronic book device, which gives access to a virtual library of close to a million titles and has clocked up millions of sales worldwide.
In certain countries, Amazon hasn't managed to establish it because it launched only on the Internet, said Jean-Louis Raynard, head of Virgin Megastore France. They're going to really change their policy to establish successfully in France.
Amazon is investing heavily in its new Kindle Fire tablet computer, which it unveiled in late September, as it fights for customers in competition with Apple's iPad.
Amazon started selling its standard Kindle model in France a month ago. The Virgin deal does not cover the Fire, which has yet to become available in Europe.
Raynard said he expected 3 million French households to have a tablet computer next year, attracted by falling prices and expanding book catalogues. Virgin Megastore has an exclusive deal with Amazon until the beginning of December, he added.
Virgin Megastore's French arm has been owned by private equity group Butler Capital Partners since 2008.
(Editing by Christian Plumb and Jon Loades-Carter)