Over the course of the past few months, Kobo and their various retail partners have been putting the Clara HD on sale. They did it again today, the main Kobo website is selling it for $114 in Canada, the regular price is $139.99. On the Kobo website in the United States, they are marketing it for $99 and the everyday price is $119. It looks like the company is trying to dump all of the remaining stock, since they have a new model that is coming out soon.
Kobo has experienced stock shortages of many of their e-readers in the past few months. The company was was accustomed to its factories in China and Taiwan coming to a halt in production during the annual Chinese new year celebrations in January. That, Black Friday in November, and the week leading up to Christmas, are the key tech-industry “high holidays” that normally can affect production and operations.
But of course, this year, the Chinese new year—which CEO Michael Tamblyn calls “doubly important” because factories close completely in China and Taiwan—was different. “Because everybody who left for new year to go home and visit their families, Tamblyn says, “didn’t come back. For the first time in living memory, the new year holiday at the end of January was extended by a week.” As Wuhan and other zones would become locked down and factory production halted, companies like Kobo were faced with new difficulties in supply. Many factories were closed down completely and it within the past month, they are only operating at less than 50% capacity. This has not only hampered Kobo from having a stable inventory of products for all of their retail partners, but prevented the timely unveiling of their first e-reader in 2020, the Kobo Nia.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.