Online discount retailer Overstock announced a partnership with Barnes & Noble Tuesday to help sell eBooks. Visitors to Overstock.com will be able to access dozens of digital editions of hardcover and paperback books, which are available to purchase through Barnes & Noble's Nook Store.
As the No. 1 seller of refurbished NOOK devices, we are pleased to partner with Barnes & Noble to expand our product offering so that our customers can have fast, easy access to the breadth of digital content that Barnes & Noble offers, said Johnathan Johnson, president of Overstock.com.
Unfortunately, Overstock isn't discounting any of the digital titles available in its library. The site is merely acting as a portal between the retailer and the NOOK Store. However, Overstock will continue to sell discounted refurbished Nook Touch and Nook Color eReaders on its site. Overstock is currently selling a Nook Color for $149, which is about $50 cheaper than the eReader's going price on BarnesandNoble.com.
The combination of our award-winning portfolio of Nook products, the Overstock.com online experience, and now access to the largest assortment of eBooks, will make it even easier to help more customers find their next great read, said Jim Hilt, VP of eBooks for Barnes & Noble.
Barnes & Noble, the world's largest bookseller based in New York City, is doing everything it can to boost the sales of its digital content to compensate for its poor physical store sales. Despite strong sales of its Nook eReaders, sales of the company's physical book collection continue to slide. Retail store sales fell one percent from $931 million to $918 million in the last quarter, and overall sales dipped from $1.9 billion to $1.89 billion.
Nook sales are keeping Barnes & Noble afloat, with sales of digital content, device hardware and Nook accessories increasing by 85 percent in the second quarter to $220 million. The company hopes the trend will continue through the holiday season into next year.
This growing base of customers buying digital content from Barnes & Noble will continue to position us as one of the fastest growing companies in this exploding digital content market, said Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch. We project this will generate significant returns on our investments for years to come.
Barnes & Noble currently operates 704 bookstores in all 50 United States. The company also owns 635 college bookstores that serve 4.6 million students and faculty members at universities and colleges across the U.S.
Overstock, which was once a failing business that went by the name Discounts Direct, was reborn in 1999 when it the property was acquired by Patrick Byrne and rebranded as Overstock.com. The company attempted to rebrand its name again in 2011 as O.co, but customer confusion led the company to retract its efforts. The company went public in May 2002 and recorded its first billion-dollar year in 2010.