Barnes & Noble takes Nook eReader to Walmart

William Lynch, Presisent of of Barnes &, is seen as a silhouette during the launch of nook, the Wireless eBook Reader, at a news conference in New York October 20, 2009. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Barnes & Noble Inc will ship its Nook electronic readers to 2,500 Wal-Mart stores this month to reach more shoppers ahead of the holiday season.

The devices will hit Wal-Mart shelves as soon as October 24, and will also be available on the discount chain’s website, the world’s largest bookstore chain said in a statement on Thursday.

Many bookstores have suffered as readers buy more of their books online, or in electronic form.

Among adults who do not have an eReader, just more than one in 10 -- or 12 percent -- said they were likely to get one in the next six months, according to a recent online poll of 2,775 adults surveyed by Harris Interactive.

Wal-Mart will offer two Nook models -- Nook 3G, which offers free AT&T 3G wireless and WiFi connectivity, as well as NOOK WiFi, a WiFi only model.

Both will give buyers access to shop the Barnes & Noble eBookstore with more than 1 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers, mostly priced at $9.99 or less, and more than 500,000 free titles.

Barnes & Noble has managed to quickly garner a 20 percent share of the e-books market and has forecast online sales rising 75 percent to $1 billion this fiscal year.

Separately, e-reader maker Kobo Inc, which has a deal to co-brand devices with Borders Group Inc, the No. 2 U.S. bookstore chain, said on its website that its wireless e-readers would be available for sale at 2,500 U.S. Wal-Mart stores starting next week.

Reporting by Dhanya Skariachan; Additional reporting by Phil Wahba; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Richard Chang