REDgroup Retail, part owners of Kobo and owner of the Australian bookstore chains Angus & Robertson and Borders AU, filed for bankruptcy about 6 weeks ago. One of the rumored causes of its bankruptcy was the effect of eBooks and how the growth of the eBook market undercut brick & mortar bookstores.
This is probably not true, but the idea does get a lot of attention in the press. Malcolm Neil, head of Kobo in Australia, believes the publicity brought eBooks to the forefront. “The mere fact that there is all this speculation whether e-books had pushed REDgroup into administration drove a lot of people to look at e-books. We actually saw a huge sales spike in the couple weeks afterwards.”
He estimates there has been at least a 30 per cent increase in traffic to Kobo’s websites since February, with a good portion of visitors buying eBooks.
image by edwin.11