Barnes & Noble has a leg up on the Kindle, since they've got over 700 brick-and-mortar stores where they can sell the Nook. But BN will only be selling the Nook in certain stores, pushing delayed-gratification online sales instead. Updated.
In a strategy that seems needlessly drawn-out, BN is pushing the sales of Nook to be mostly online, and the stores that don't have the hardware in stock will instead order it for you online, to be shipped to your home. Each store will have one demo unit, but in many stores, you'll have to wait for online shipping after trying it out. Why they've chosen to go this route is a mystery to me—why would they want to add an extra step for consumers? We're not sure yet exactly which stores will be getting Nooks (or why—maybe a supply issue?); it's not a huge deal but it can't help the Nook's chances.
Update: Barnes and Noble responds:
While it's always difficult to predict demand on a new product, and early from response from consumers is strong, Barnes & Noble expects to have nook eBook readers in stock in the majority of its stores by the peak holiday season and plans to have nook devices in stock in all of its stores by early next year. If the product is out of stock or not available in a particular store, our booksellers can help facilitate an in-store order that will be shipped to the customer's home.
Guess we'll see what the rollout looks like when it actually happens.[Paid Content]