LONDON, 2014-8-8 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s has bought the remaining stake, previously held by Penguin Random House and HarperCollins UK, in the e-books platform Anobii Ltd. The deal gives the retailer full control of the company as part of its growing Sainsbury’s Entertainment digital offer.
In June 2012, Sainsbury’s bought a 64% share of Anobii from the HMV Group with Penguin Random House and HarperCollins owning 24% and 12% respectively.
Sainsbury’s subsequently created and launched the eBooks by Sainsbury’s retail site. New features and functionality have been added to the site including the ability for customers to be able to earn and spend Nectar points, and innovative deals such as Sainsbury’s offering the UK’s first film and book e-bundle. Earlier this year the site was awarded ‘E-Book Retailer of the Year’ at The Bookseller Industry Awards.
With full ownership, Sainsbury’s plans to offer customers an enhanced digital entertainment experience across film, music and books via Sainsbury’s Entertainment website.
Commenting on the announcement, Tim Lennox, Managing Director of eBooks by Sainsbury’s who will head up the new online entertainment business said: “This is the logical next step in our commitment to growing our digital entertainment offer for customers across film, music and books in a way which complements and connects with our broader Sainsbury’s business.
“Penguin Random House and HarperCollins have been invaluable in our ebooks development and we look forward to continuing our great working relationship with them.”
Ian Hudson, Deputy CEO, Penguin Random House, UK said: “Having helped launch Anobii in the UK, we would now like to wish Sainsbury’s every success in taking the platform forward to its next successful chapter.”
Simon Johnson, Group MD of HarperCollins UK, said: “We’re very pleased to have been a part of this slick, award-winning site. We wish Sainsbury’s continuing success with it and look forward to maintaining our strong trading partnership with them.”