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Children's publishers welcome Waterstone's sale

Children's publishers have welcomed the acquisition of Waterstone's by Russian businessman Alexander Mamut. Francesca Dow, m.d. of Penguin Children's Books, said: "The Waterstone's takeover is good news for children's publishers. We need a strong bricks-and-mortar presence for consumers to pick up, read and properly experience books—particularly children's books."

"There's a sense that, at last, we can start moving forward," said Marlene Johnson, m.d. of Hachette Children's Books. While concerned about the "inevitable" store closures that will follow the purchase, Johnson believes the focus on range and local buying will help offset the losses. "Because James Daunt is coming in [as Waterstone's m.d.] the expectation is that there will be a return to quality of range appropriate to the target audience.

"Irrespective of what they said over the past 12 months about local purchasing, all children's stock was centrally purchased, and there was no tailoring to local audiences."

While the focus on range is generally welcomed, Gillian Laskier, group sales director for Egmont, warned that "for a lot of young children, their first way into reading is through characters, and people who are very literary in their book taste may not get that.

"Children quite often become book lovers through non-literary routes."

Publishers would also like to see Waterstone's invest more in its booksellers, said Dow. "They talked a year ago about putting their booksellers as experts at the heart of their business, investing in them, training them, having more of them on the shop floor. All this seems crucial. Being hand-sold a book by an expert is something you can't get online—and would bring customers back for more."

Dow added: "We hope that a newly revitalised Waterstone's will think about great author events, which we as publishers will help them with, and how they can work with their consumers, creating a go-to destination for families locally."

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Thanks for the support hachette and nice to see how out of touch you are. I work in one of the bigger branches. Last year we had a refit, were given more local space than ever before, and we still have it. We buy locally for recommends space and for our range. Perhaps you should try believing what your customer tells you

The Hachette comment is utter rubbish, as JJ asserts. All children's books were certainly not centrally purchased, and there was plenty of local tailoring. Except probably most didn't order many Hachette titles - which says a lot about them!

Biting the hand that feeds. Maybe the factory farmer series fiction purveyor should question why no one wants to buy from them locally...

"Irrespective of what they said over the past 12 months about local purchasing, all children's stock was centrally purchased, and there was no tailoring to local audiences." I see The Bookseller isn't just limiting the untrue and ignorant to the comments section these days. Completely ludicrous.

Out of anywhere in the store the Kids dept had the most freedom - and Boy did it pay off at Christmas! and Easter, and it will this week too!

Your right the Children's department does indeed have the most freedom, but that's not to say that there is much there. There is probably a decent level of choice available to larger stores with expanded childrens departments but for the majority they are being forced to stock many 'core' titles that simply do not sell in the market that they belong to. Whilst I agree the assertion that all stock is being centrally ordered is incorrect, I would be prepared to agree that the majority of the stock certainly is.

Saying you're forced to stock core stock is a bit strong. You work for a chain not yourself. The point is it's core stock meant to suit everyone. I buy locally to add interest for my customers, not as much as I'd like, but that about time not really constraints. More booksellers please!

Thanks for the support hachette and nice to see how out of touch you are. I work in one of the bigger branches. Last year we had a refit, were given more local space than ever before, and we still have it. We buy locally for recommends space and for our range. Perhaps you should try believing what your customer tells you

The Hachette comment is utter rubbish, as JJ asserts. All children's books were certainly not centrally purchased, and there was plenty of local tailoring. Except probably most didn't order many Hachette titles - which says a lot about them!

Biting the hand that feeds. Maybe the factory farmer series fiction purveyor should question why no one wants to buy from them locally...

"Irrespective of what they said over the past 12 months about local purchasing, all children's stock was centrally purchased, and there was no tailoring to local audiences." I see The Bookseller isn't just limiting the untrue and ignorant to the comments section these days. Completely ludicrous.

Out of anywhere in the store the Kids dept had the most freedom - and Boy did it pay off at Christmas! and Easter, and it will this week too!

Your right the Children's department does indeed have the most freedom, but that's not to say that there is much there. There is probably a decent level of choice available to larger stores with expanded childrens departments but for the majority they are being forced to stock many 'core' titles that simply do not sell in the market that they belong to. Whilst I agree the assertion that all stock is being centrally ordered is incorrect, I would be prepared to agree that the majority of the stock certainly is.

Saying you're forced to stock core stock is a bit strong. You work for a chain not yourself. The point is it's core stock meant to suit everyone. I buy locally to add interest for my customers, not as much as I'd like, but that about time not really constraints. More booksellers please!