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Waterstones to move head office to Piccadilly

Waterstones is to move its head office to its flagship store in Piccadilly to be closer to its customers and publishers.

The move from its current location in Brentford is expected to take place in August this year after Westminster Council signs off the planning permission.

In August last year The Bookseller reported it was thought the chain’s new m.d. James Daunt wanted to move the head office to Waterstones' flagship Piccadilly store as early as possible.

Today, Daunt said: “The purpose of our  head office is to work in service to our bookshops and it has long been our view that the closer we are to the shop floor, the better we will be able to do this.

"The move allows us to share Piccadilly's iconic location and not only brings us closer to our customers and the books we sell to them, but also to publishers and many of our other bookshops.”

Waterstones said while the work involved in the move was “significant”, it was the company’s aim to do so with the minimal amount of disruption to the shop, which will lose no trading space  and “will benefit from new and improved staff facilities.”

Staff in the Solihull office will be unaffected, the chain confirmed.

 

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This has to be some of the most expensive retail head office space in the country, but obviously they've locked into an expensive lease, so they may as well fill it.

Personally I always loved the view of the scrap yards in Brentford and parking in Piccadilly will be a nightmare!

Are they going to build another two floors at Piccadilly or is this code for that there will be redundancies at head office? I can't see how they will all fit in.

That didn't work out so well for Borders on Charing Cross Road. The staff received an unpleasant degree of pressure & criticism from a very small number of Head Office staff, which no other Borders had to suffer from.

There was, however, absolutely no corresponding regard for the circumstances of the store by those working above. To take one small example: the buying of Children's books was vastly in excess of anything the store could fairly cope with considering the very low numbers of children and families visiting & buying. For many Borders stores the Children's section was the life and soul of the store so heavy buying was entirely appropriate for them. But despite being in the same building the excess buying (& thus returning) of Children's books was maintained and was a drain on staff resources desperately needed elsewhere.

So my message to Piccadilly staffers is that your life is going to get a heck of a lot less pleasant & much more pressured but don't expect to get any of the books the customers are desperate to buy just because the buyers are working upstairs. Sorry for the negative message.

This has to be some of the most expensive retail head office space in the country, but obviously they've locked into an expensive lease, so they may as well fill it.

Personally I always loved the view of the scrap yards in Brentford and parking in Piccadilly will be a nightmare!

Are they going to build another two floors at Piccadilly or is this code for that there will be redundancies at head office? I can't see how they will all fit in.

That didn't work out so well for Borders on Charing Cross Road. The staff received an unpleasant degree of pressure & criticism from a very small number of Head Office staff, which no other Borders had to suffer from.

There was, however, absolutely no corresponding regard for the circumstances of the store by those working above. To take one small example: the buying of Children's books was vastly in excess of anything the store could fairly cope with considering the very low numbers of children and families visiting & buying. For many Borders stores the Children's section was the life and soul of the store so heavy buying was entirely appropriate for them. But despite being in the same building the excess buying (& thus returning) of Children's books was maintained and was a drain on staff resources desperately needed elsewhere.

So my message to Piccadilly staffers is that your life is going to get a heck of a lot less pleasant & much more pressured but don't expect to get any of the books the customers are desperate to buy just because the buyers are working upstairs. Sorry for the negative message.