Saving Waterstone's

<p>An <a href="http://www.petitiononline.com/Bookshop/petition.html">online petition</a> has been set up to save the Wood Green branch of Waterstone's, which is <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/43211-petition-protests-waterstones-cl... to close on 11th August</a>. The petition has already received close to 200 signatures with the number rising fast. <br />
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The petition reads: <em>&quot;We, the local residents of Haringey are dismayed and disappointed to learn of your plans to close down the Wood Green branch of Waterstone's and re-open it as a branch of H and M. We have long enjoyed the great service and choice of books that Waterstone's in Wood Green offers. We sincerely hope that you will listen to the voices of Haringey residents who care passionately about the cultural resources available to this area. If this bookshop disappears from Wood Green High Street it will leave a hugely damaging cultural void in its wake. We do not want to live in an endless parade of mobile phone shops and cheap clothing stores. Waterstone's has provided a much-needed oasis in a literary desert. Please either reconsider your plans or open another branch in this area. Wood Green needs bookshops not more clothes shops!&quot;</em></p>
<p>It seems unlikely that Waterstone's will change its mind&mdash;the move is part of the wider plans to cut its floor space by 10% over the next three years. However, the chain will be sensitive about any more negative PR after the <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/40785-waterstones-defends-hidden-charg... debacle a couple of months ago&mdash;particularly as its Harry Potter activities seemed to go so well.</p>
<p>But really, shouldn't the business be pleased that its customers care enough to protest the shop's demise?<br />
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Waterstone's is regarded, rather like the BBC and the publisher Penguin, as a national institution. Its every move is analysed as if it is the sole keeper of the nation's literary health: every high street needs a well-stocked Waterstone's even if the numbers don't stack up.<br />
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This is certainly the tenor of many of the comments left by signatories:<br />
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<em> &quot;Waterstone's appears not to be concerned with providing a service to the local community.&quot;<br />
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&quot;We need this bookshop. Our children love browsing in the children's book section and regularly ask us to buy them books from there. What a loss this will be for both children and adults! Please reconsider.&quot;<br />
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&quot;Communities need bookshops - today and for tomorrow.&quot;</em></p>
<p>Others take a more pragmatic approach:<br />
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<em> &quot;I hate Waterstones but they are better than no bookshop so let's try to make them stay.&quot;<br />
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&quot;Have you been to Wood Green? Seriously, they need a bookshop up there.&quot;</em> <br />
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Whatever the local needs, it is Waterstone's managing director Gerry Johnson's job to make the tough decisions. His aim is to run a financially robust bookselling chain during a time of radical change. And he seems to be winning: the chain's last financial results showed <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/41334-waterstones-sees-green-shoots.ht... sales growth for the first time under his tenure</a>--a feat that will no doubt be matched at the end of its next financial period, thanks to its success with Potter. Johnson has been rewarded with a promotion within the HMV group, resolving the anomaly of not having a Waterstone's executive on the parent's main board.</p>
<p>According to one signatory to the petition: &quot;This won't help the share price in the longrun.&quot; Soberly, it is likely that the opposite is true.</p>
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