Popular Indian retail chain Landmark, a TATA enterprise that started in 1987 as books and music retailer but later expanded into other product categories, has launched an e-books section on its website. The company claims that it is the first Indian retail chain to do so and further adds that the e-books will provide a green alternative to avid readers. The initiative comes soon after the e-commerce giant Amazon launched its India Kindle store.
"Over the past two years, we have focused on increasing our footprint in the digital space. With a surge in demand for smartphones and tablets, we saw great potential in the e-books space and decided to increase our product offerings by providing e-books," said Ashutosh Pandey, COO at Landmark.
Last we checked, the site was offering a number of e-books by Indian and overseas writers across 47 categories â€“ ranging from art and cooking to religion and fiction (you will find the complete list here). These e-books will be available for a starting price of Rs 52 while select e-books are also available for free. The company is also planning to add literary classics to its collection of digital books, which will be totally free.
But compared to the paperback editions, e-books are more expensive here. For example, the paperback editions of Fifty Shades of Grey and the Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy cost Rs 255 and Rs 659, respectively. However, the digital editions are priced at Rs 588 and Rs 1,763, respectively.
Late last month, Amazon launched its second India-specific initiative (after the e-commerce search aggregation platform Junglee) in the form of the India Kindle Store. The store has been launched on its parent site and claims to offer more than one million books for Indian customers, priced at Indian currency (INR).
Once again we compared Landmark e-book prices with those at the Kindle Store and found that the Kindle e-books are a lot cheaper. And that makes us wonder about Landmark's game plan regarding e-books as the current one (featuring higher-than-usual prices) may not be received well in a country that is truly price sensitive.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)