Analysts urge Myers to add "flair" to Waterstone's

<p>City analysts have tasked new m.d. Dominic Myers with adding &quot;flair&quot; to the chain, following his appointment this morning.</p><p>Nick Bubb, analyst at Arden Partners, said Myers has previously served as HMV Group c.e.o Simon Fox&#39;s &quot;right hand man&quot;, in pushing through strategic change at his former job as HMV group development director. He said: &quot;I think Fox trusts him to do the same at Waterstone&#39;s, as that&rsquo;s what it needs.&quot;</p><p>He said Myers&#39; immediate priority should be to increase sales through more innovative marketing and merchandising, beefing up its online business, which he said &quot;lagged badly&quot; at Christmas, and maximise savings from the distribution hub. </p><p>He said: &quot;The business will make no money in 09/10, which is unacceptable. There should be room for a specialist book retailer on the high street, but it may need to be more integrated with HMV itself, for example, with joint stores.&quot;</p><p>Robert Clark, analyst at Retail Knowledge Bank, said Myers had to reverse Waterstone&#39;s downward sales trend quickly. </p><p>He said: &quot;That&#39;s very simple to say but obviously not easy to do. Myers has to look at individual stores closely and deal with the underperforming ones. This will be tough and it won&#39;t help morale, something that he will need to improve. Myers will have to pay particular attention to the grassroots staff.&quot;</p><p>Clark added that Myers&#39; previous book trade jobs, at Blackwell and integrating Ottakar&#39;s into Waterstone&#39;s, had left him with a solid reputation. </p><p>&quot;He did a decent job with Blackwell at a time when they were having background problems. The integration of Ottakar&#39;s into Waterstone&#39;s went reasonably well, and it was something that could have been much more traumatic,&quot; he explained.</p>