According to the The Bookseller and The Wire, McDonald’s will soon become the largest children’s book distributor in the U.K. Seem like an unlikely statistic? How would this happen? Well, McDonald’s will be offering a free e-book code in each Happy Meal for a limited time. The e-book will be provided by Kobo, an e-book seller and e-reader maker, based in Toronto. McDonald’s is projected to sell 15 million Happy Meals during this promotion, making McDonald’s the largest children’s book distributor in the U.K. for a brief period of time. This promotion fits with McDonald’s new initiatives for healthier meals and social responsibility.
McDonald’s is following in the footsteps of Starbucks by offering to sell something outside of their traditional business-model. Starbucks started selling music in their stores in 2004 and is an exclusive retailer of a new CD every so often. Large retailers across the world are redefining themselves as multi-purpose distributors. This should act as a reminder to ask yourself the most important question: What business am I really in?