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Old 01-25-2018, 10:49 PM   #1
GeoffR
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Walmart and Rakuten Announce New Strategic Alliance

"Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) president and CEO Doug McMillon and Rakuten, Inc. Chairman, president and CEO Hiroshi “Mickey” Mikitani met in Tokyo today to announce a new strategic alliance that leverages each company’s unique strengths and assets to expand consumer reach and enhance how customers are served in Japan and the U.S."

http://news.kobo.com/press/releases/...tegic-alliance

"In addition, Walmart and Rakuten Kobo Inc. have formed an exclusive retail alliance that will enable Walmart to begin selling eBooks and audiobooks, as well as offer Rakuten Kobo eReaders, in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com in the United States starting later this year."

Last edited by pdurrant; 01-26-2018 at 08:56 AM. Reason: added first paragraph
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:17 PM   #2
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Now that's a surprise.

I wonder what this part really means.
Quote:
Walmart will also sell digital book cards in stores, enabling more than 4,000 stores to carry a broader selection of books for customers.
More competition can only be a good thing.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by GeoffR View Post
Excellent news! Walmart's "newish" CEO understands that he needs to compete directly with Amazon and has, in my opinion, made some very good decisions. It will be nice to be able to look at Kobos before buying.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:26 PM   #4
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I'm hoping that
Quote:
Walmart will also sell digital book cards in stores, enabling more than 4,000 stores to carry a broader selection of books for customers.
means that Kobo gift cards will be available in Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, and possibly elsewhere in the US. I sometimes buy B&N gift cards with credit card rewards, and I'd probably stop buying from there altogether if my credit card company offered Kobo gift cards in their rewards program.

However, in reading the announcement, it makes me wonder if Walmart will be selling cards with an sd card or microsd card with a kepub ebook and some sort scratch off key that will work the the Kobo Reader app, and then be sideloaded to a Kobo ereader if desired.

Last edited by bgalbrecht; 01-25-2018 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:46 PM   #5
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My guess is the card will be a money card that you can use to buy books online from Kobo.

I'm really glad to see this. Kobos in Walmart are a good thing. Amazon needs the competition to keep them on their toes, although I'm not sure how much competition this will really be.

This also might generate more interest in e-ink ereaders.

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Old 01-25-2018, 11:57 PM   #6
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I posted this in a similar thread, and will repost it here.

Quote:
Walmart will also sell digital book cards in stores, enabling more than 4,000 stores to carry a broader selection of books for customers.
This part seems interesting. If I understand correctly, Walmart will feature small book cards in stores so that people can purchase digital codes to redeem, but because the book cards are small, Walmart will be able to stock a wider variety than they would otherwise with physical books.

The fact that a co-branded app will be available on iOS means that they are will to pay the Apple tax like Amazon already does with everything but books. This is a big announcement. There are no stores that I am aware of that sell books on iOS devices because of that %30 cut. I wonder if they've worked something out with Apple. Walmart is big enough to do it.

GameStop often generates special download codes for customers when they run out of the limited edition Pokémon cards that Nintendo offers from time to time. The actual cards have a rub-off spot to reveal a code to download the critter into the game, but the cashiers can run off as many codes as you'd like when no cards are available during the promo period. I wonder if Walmart will do the same. There's no reason to have individual book cards for each sale. Otherwise, you could run out of them, losing digital sales!
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Old 01-26-2018, 12:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barryem View Post
My guess is the card will be a money card that you can use to buy books online from Kobo.
But the release specifies that book cards will allow them to offer a broader selection to customers. It says it will offer the "digital book cards in stores", so it seems like an analog solution to an online library to me. We'll see…

Quote:
Originally Posted by barryem View Post
I'm really glad to see this. Kobos in Walmart are a good thing. Amazon needs the competition to keep them on their toes, although I'm not sure how much competition this will really be.
I'd love to see this. Amazon has slowed down its eReader innovation recently. They are either disenchanted with eInk devices in favor of tablets, or they're slowing down R&R because they're on the top. Either way, competition nipping at their heels will be good for the whole industry.

The best thing about this is that returning defective Kobos will be a breeze now, instead of dealing with Kobo's communication challenged customer service call center. No more spending days convincing Kobo to take the unit back, shipping it all the way to Canada, then waiting for the replacement to arrive.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
In addition, Walmart and Rakuten Kobo Inc. have formed an exclusive retail alliance that will enable Walmart to begin selling eBooks and audiobooks, as well as offer Rakuten Kobo eReaders, in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com in the United States starting later this year.
WooHoo!

Kobo Aura One, here I come.
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Old 01-26-2018, 06:59 AM   #9
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This is very good news indeed. Does anyone know when Kobo Readers will be in store?
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cootey View Post
I posted this in a similar thread, and will repost it here.



This part seems interesting. If I understand correctly, Walmart will feature small book cards in stores so that people can purchase digital codes to redeem, but because the book cards are small, Walmart will be able to stock a wider variety than they would otherwise with physical books.

The fact that a co-branded app will be available on iOS means that they are will to pay the Apple tax like Amazon already does with everything but books. This is a big announcement. There are no stores that I am aware of that sell books on iOS devices because of that %30 cut. I wonder if they've worked something out with Apple. Walmart is big enough to do it.

GameStop often generates special download codes for customers when they run out of the limited edition Pokémon cards that Nintendo offers from time to time. The actual cards have a rub-off spot to reveal a code to download the critter into the game, but the cashiers can run off as many codes as you'd like when no cards are available during the promo period. I wonder if Walmart will do the same. There's no reason to have individual book cards for each sale. Otherwise, you could run out of them, losing digital sales!
Apple only collects on digital sales, not physical sales so Amazon does not pay the "Apple tax".

Last edited by pwalker8; 01-26-2018 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:52 AM   #11
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This is good news, I would like to see Kobo's again in stores in the U.S.
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:18 AM   #12
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Very good news. Love to be able to get Kobos locally although I'm not too thrilled it's Walmart. I imagine the book cards will get around Apple's take. You'll be buying in the store and just accessing it online or in app.
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Old 01-26-2018, 09:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
Apple only collects on digital sales, not physical sales so Amazon does pay the "Apple tax".
Last I knew, you can't buy Kindle books through the ios Kindle app.

Maybe that's why Kobo wants these in-store cards, for the ithing owners who won't be able to purchase directly in the ios app. (Although they could through a web browser)
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Old 01-26-2018, 10:13 AM   #14
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It seems to me, Apple is more interested in throttling eBook sales, not promoting them. I understand they're like 'the mob', if you want to do business in MY neighborhood, you got to make sure I get a 'taste'!
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Old 01-26-2018, 11:19 AM   #15
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Well I am happy that I can finally buy a KOBO device and see one in store before buying. I only wish they will sell at independent book stores as well so to help them compete with B&N and Amazon
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