September 10, 2010, 11:27 AM

Best Buy bets on consumers buying e-readers

The retailer will begin selling the Kindle this fall.

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Best Buy Co. Inc. seems to think avid readers are ready to make the switch from printed volumes to electronic readers. That’s suggested by the multichannel retailer’s decision to begin selling Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle e-reader, as well as a host of other e-readers, this fall.

Best Buy, No. 10 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide has slowly been building its selection of e-readers. In April the multichannel retailer became the first retailer other than Barnes & Noble Inc. to sell the bookseller’s Nook e-reader in its stores and online at BestBuy.com. Best Buy also sells both Sony Electronics Inc.’s Reader and Apple Inc.’s iPad, the tablet computer that can be used to read digital books. 

“There’s no question that e-readers have found their rightful place in today’s digital lifestyle,” says Chris Homeister, Best Buy senior vice president and general manager of home entertainment. “Our goal is to help people choose the device that’s right for them by providing the broadest selection of popular e-readers of any retailer, in one convenient place that enables people to easily see, touch, try and buy.”

Best Buy will sell the new versions of the Kindle, including one with built-in Wi-Fi and the Kindle 3G that can connect with cell phone networks, with plans to offer the Kindle DX, which offers a high-contrast e-ink screen, later in the season.

“We are excited that Best Buy will be offering the new generation Kindle to its customers,” says Steve Kessel, senior vice president, Amazon Kindle.

Best Buy’s announcement comes a little more than a week after Staples Inc. announced it will begin selling the Kindle in its 1,550 stores nationwide this fall. The Kindle is also sold at select Target Corp. stores.

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