Waterstones is to sell Amazon Kindles and offer special deals to customers who use the devices in its physical stores.
Waterstones will begin selling Amazon Kindle devices in its stores. Image credit: Amazon
The UK bookseller said in a statement on Monday that the move would "complement and strengthen the traditional attributes of the bookshops to which the company remains fundamentally committed".
"The best digital readers, the Kindle family, will be married to the singular pleasures of browsing a curated bookshop. With the combination of our talents we can offer the exceptional customer proposition to which we both aspire," Waterstones managing director James Daunt said.
Meanwhile, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos said his company "could never hope for a better partner to bring together digital reading and the physical bookstore".
Waterstones is in the process of rolling out free Wi-Fi access across its chain, and it plans to start selling Kindles in the autumn. Customers who have bought their Kindles from the retailer will be able to use them to log on to each store's network and see deals associated with that branch.
"When you're using your Kindle in store then you will get a Waterstones experience using your Kindle," a Waterstones spokesman told ZDNet UK on Monday. "You'll be able to browse content digitally and have access to exclusive content."
Last year, Waterstones was talking about launching its own e-reader to compete against the Kindle.
However, the company's spokesman said on Monday that Waterstones was "not looking at partnering with anyone else or doing anything along those lines".
Several details will only be announced closer to the launch, namely which Kindle models will be on sale, and whether Waterstones will sell the devices at the same price as that charged by Amazon for direct sales.