Barnes & Noble (s BKS) is seemingly trying to get some stock off its hands with a new, week-long promotion: Anybody who buys a Nook HD+ tablet between March 24 and 31 will get a Nook Simple Touch e-reader (the non-front-lit version) for free.
The offer applies at Barnes & Noble retail and college stores, online, and third-party retailers Walmart (s WMT), Best Buy (s BBY) and Target (s TGT). The Nook HD+ tablet, which has a 9-inch screen and is Barnes & Noble’s answer to Amazon’s Kindle (s AMZN) Fire HD, is $269 for the 16 GB model and $299 for the 32 GB model. The Nook Simple Touch is normally $79.
Jamie Iannone, president of digital products at Nook Media (the spinoff of Barnes & Noble’s digital and college businesses, which was completed in October and includes investments from Microsoft (s MSFT) and Pearson), said in a statement that the two-for-one deal lets customers “fully experience all that the expansive Nook Store of more than 3 million titles has to offer.” The idea is that tablet users who are coming to the Nook HD+ for its “movies, apps, magazines and more” — though it’s unclear how many people actually want these things from Nook, especially following the launch of the iPad (s AAPL) Mini) — might stick around and buy some ebooks if they have a device to do so. (Of course, they can also read ebooks on a Nook Tablet.)
The deal might just be intended to get rid of Nook e-readers — it’s possible that Barnes & Noble wants to focus on the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight going forward. It may also be Barnes & Noble’s effort to compete with Amazon, which recently slashed the price of the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, bringing the WiFi versions price in line with the Nook HD+.