Waterstones, the UK's national bookstore, came back from near-death by transforming into indie, local stores


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/02/06/waterstones-the-uks-nationa.html


Maybe symbolically at my local Waterstones, the sign fell off and killed a bookseller as she was closing it up for the night.


Not sure I believe a 2 percent return rate. I think they only way you could get that would be to order so conservatively as to be understocked most of the time.


I do like Waterstones, and my local store does try to have local author talks, signings and whatnot, but “indie” is a bit of a stretch.


Retail isn’t anywhere near my area of expertise, but maybe their improved sales figures allowed them to discount more stuff that wouldn’t sell at MSRP, and that also contributed to lowering the return rate?


Encouraging more pre-orders would allow them to gauge what will sell in the area/as a whole, but they probably are being quite conservative.


…it was purchased by Russian billioniare Alexander Mamut…

What an unusual use of the word “indie.”


Indie is just a label to be sold to people.

That said, Oxford’s Waterstones is far better for SF than Blackwell’s is.


Also, I think a lot of Waterstones’ endurance is due to being the last bookshop standing in many of their locations. After online and epub had taken out all their chain competitors, and many genuinely independent bookshops, they’re the only game in town for real books right now.


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