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The UK’s largest book retailer Waterstones has announced it will stop selling digital books. The company will instead divert its e-book customers to digital book specialist Kobo.

Waterstones boss James Daunt said Kobo provided “an excellence of service we ourselves are unable to match”.

The decision to pull out of e-books is the retailer’s latest move away from digital after its shops stopped selling Kindle e-readers in October.

From 14 June, Waterstones will start sending emails to customers about how to transfer their e-book libraries to Japanese-owned Kobo.

Michael Tamblyn, chief executive of Kobo, said: “We are pleased to be working with Waterstones, where we can help a great print retailer by supporting their customers who also love to read digitally.”

Waterstones has focused on improving its experience for customers, including with specialist staff and in-store cafes, since it was acquired by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut from HMV in 2011.

The business made a profit of £5.4m last year as a result of cutting costs and a 1% growth in sales to £378m.

Earlier this year, Barnes & Noble, the US bookseller behind the e-book brand Nook, stopped selling digital books in the UK.


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