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WHS, Ross and Simply Books win at The Bookseller awards

W H Smith has been crowned The Bookseller's Bookselling Company of the Year, scooping the top prize for the first time in the five-year ­history of the Retail Awards.

The chain was commended for its growth strategy, despite a difficult trading year for all booksellers, which included the addition of a further 100 new outlets over the year, as well as its ability to "attract and engage with" readers. According to the judging panel, which included author Anthony Horowitz and Ottakar's ­founder James Heneage, WHS has become "a powerhouse operation" in recent times.

The chain also picked up the Martina Cole General Retailer award for the second year running. WHS won out for picking up on "fresh opportunities in the high street" post-­Woolworths, marketing and retail excellence.

The Award for Outstanding Contribution to Bookselling, last year given to Gardners' father-and-son team Alan and Jonathan Little, was this year won by Amanda Ross for her work on the "Richard & Judy" Book Club. The judges cited her "£185m boon to the trade" and having ­"converted vast numbers of lesser readers into regular book buyers".

Last year's Bookselling Company of the Year, Waterstone's, took home two awards this year—for High Street Retailer and for the man behind its recently opened Liverpool One branch, Ian Critchley, who picked up Wiley Man­ager of the Year. Critchley was applauded by the judges for his "outstanding" work in launching the new shop.

Borders also received two awards "despite the uncertainty at head office", taking home the Usborne Children's Bookseller of the Year and the Nielsen Marketing Campaign award for its Where's Wally? On Google Earth campaign. The Book Depository scooped the Direct to Consumer gong for "tick[ing] all the boxes".

Simply Books beat off tough competition to win the Bertrams Independent Bookseller award, while the Walker Books Children's ­Independent of the Year went to Jarrolds ­Children's Book Department.

Neill Denny, editor-in-chief of The Bookseller, said: "We need retail excellence now more than ever, making these, the only awards to recognise the best in bookselling, doubly important."

The Bookseller Retail Awards winners 2009

The Bookseller's Bookselling Company of the Year
W H Smith

Outstanding Contribution to Bookselling
Amanda Ross

High Street Retailer of the Year
Waterstone's

Direct to Consumer Bookselling Company of the Year
The Book Depository

Bertrams Independent Bookseller of the Year
Simply Books

Walker Books Children's Independent of the Year
Jarrolds Children's Book Department

Wiley Manager of the Year
Ian Critchley, Waterstone's Liverpool One

Usborne Children's Bookseller of the Year
Borders

Martina Cole General Retailer of the Year
W H Smith

Nielsen Marketing Campaign of the Year
Borders Where's Wally? On Google Earth

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Yay! Good stuff all round! Bravo! Etc.

Bravo indeed - it would be nice tho if Ms Ross
could recommend more titles from smaller publishers. Yes?

Odd times we are living in when WHS wins a bookselling company of the year. Whenever I shop there the book staff have no interest or idea about their products.

Mike - I totally agree with you. Our local WHS is hopeless, and the staff are indeed lacking in knowledge, but with no independents in the area anymore, and none of the other book chains around, they don't have any high street stores breathing down their necks and bucking up their ideas.

Sorry,,,two years, what was i thinking. 3 months is more likely

Waterstones...retailer of the year? Hilarious. Retailer most likely to have vanished from the high street in 2 years due to incompetent management is more like it.

I agree with johnson's comments. Although WHS ain't the perfect retailer of books, they've made huge improvements in the last five years and it is obvious that they view books as a key part of their business

I disagree, while not all WHS shops are 'book' shops, many of the travel outlets and more of the high streets stores have some really busy looking bookshelves, packed with offers and mass market titles. I think Neil Denny makes the important point in his separate blog, a few years ago WHS was a basket case like Woolies. It isn't any more, I'm not totally sure how they've done it, but it's pretty impressive on the part of kate swann to have looked after the City, and the supply chain without making a huge noise about it.

Congratulations to Simply Books! I don't shop there as often as I should (difficult to get to from where I live), but it's a lovely shop and the staff are always helpful and show an interest.

Admittedly, WHSmith probably don

Coyote, I think you'll find Waterstone's will be here for a long time yet.

I agree, our local Smiths is hopeless as well. The staff have no interest in books and this is emphasised more by the fact that they know nothing about them either.

Is anyone else sick of the illiterate anti-Waterstone's trolls on these boards, posting their lolspeak jeremiads? "coyote", if Waterstone's have disappeared because of "incompetent management" in the next three months - or indeed the next two years - put your address up and I will personally send you a postal order for ten British pounds. Otherwise, please stop devaluing the currency of debate on these boards. That goes for all of you.

You need to understand "Sick of It" , that this is a cathartic session for these guys .They are all terrified of their bosses so they get very bold and silly in these threads .

What are the current state and future prospects of the retail bookstore industry and what will be the key success factors in the next five years?

Any and all responses are appreciated.

J, Go and do your own A Level research you lazy git.

Yay! Good stuff all round! Bravo! Etc.

Bravo indeed - it would be nice tho if Ms Ross
could recommend more titles from smaller publishers. Yes?

Odd times we are living in when WHS wins a bookselling company of the year. Whenever I shop there the book staff have no interest or idea about their products.

Mike - I totally agree with you. Our local WHS is hopeless, and the staff are indeed lacking in knowledge, but with no independents in the area anymore, and none of the other book chains around, they don't have any high street stores breathing down their necks and bucking up their ideas.

I disagree, while not all WHS shops are 'book' shops, many of the travel outlets and more of the high streets stores have some really busy looking bookshelves, packed with offers and mass market titles. I think Neil Denny makes the important point in his separate blog, a few years ago WHS was a basket case like Woolies. It isn't any more, I'm not totally sure how they've done it, but it's pretty impressive on the part of kate swann to have looked after the City, and the supply chain without making a huge noise about it.

I agree with johnson's comments. Although WHS ain't the perfect retailer of books, they've made huge improvements in the last five years and it is obvious that they view books as a key part of their business

Waterstones...retailer of the year? Hilarious. Retailer most likely to have vanished from the high street in 2 years due to incompetent management is more like it.

Sorry,,,two years, what was i thinking. 3 months is more likely

I agree, our local Smiths is hopeless as well. The staff have no interest in books and this is emphasised more by the fact that they know nothing about them either.

Coyote, I think you'll find Waterstone's will be here for a long time yet.

Admittedly, WHSmith probably don

Congratulations to Simply Books! I don't shop there as often as I should (difficult to get to from where I live), but it's a lovely shop and the staff are always helpful and show an interest.

Is anyone else sick of the illiterate anti-Waterstone's trolls on these boards, posting their lolspeak jeremiads? "coyote", if Waterstone's have disappeared because of "incompetent management" in the next three months - or indeed the next two years - put your address up and I will personally send you a postal order for ten British pounds. Otherwise, please stop devaluing the currency of debate on these boards. That goes for all of you.

You need to understand "Sick of It" , that this is a cathartic session for these guys .They are all terrified of their bosses so they get very bold and silly in these threads .

What are the current state and future prospects of the retail bookstore industry and what will be the key success factors in the next five years?

Any and all responses are appreciated.

J, Go and do your own A Level research you lazy git.