MAIN_IMAGEnook_next-to-paperbacks_picnik Barnes & Noble confirmed that its Nook e-reader is coming to Best Buy retail stores beginning April 18. Last week we reported on rumors that both the Nook and Amazon’s Kindle would be hitting retail stores, but it looks like the Barnes & Noble device has secured a presence at the large electronics retailer first.
Released last December, the Nook has already been available for purchase in Barnes & Noble retail and online stores. The move to a major consumer electronics retailer like Best Buy, however, potentially opens the device up to a whole new market.

In addition to selling the device and accessories in its U.S. stores and online, Best Buy will also offer Barnes & Noble e-book gift cards and have the Barnes & Noble e-reader software running on some of the computers and netbooks on display, allowing customers to purchase e-books or access their digital libraries on the go. While we find it unlikely that many customers will actually purchase e-books from these display computers, it has the added benefit of showing off the Barnes & Noble e-reader ecosystem on a variety of devices.

The Nook faces competition not just from traditional e-readers like the Kindle and devices from Sony, but also from Apple’s new iPad. The iPad, which is sold at Apple Stores and at Best Buy, has already sold 450,000 units as of last week. Furthermore, Apple’s iBooks software will be coming to iPhone OS 4.0 this summer, potentially pulling another 85 million devices into the iTunes-based e-book ecosystem. For that reason, we expect to see Barnes & Noble play up the Nook’s $259.99 price tag as a value proposition compared to the iPad.

What do you think about the Nook coming to Best Buy stores? Does it make you any more likely to pick up or check out the device? Let us know.