Crunch point for returns

<p>Returns are running level with last year at 15% despite booksellers' efforts to improve stock management over Christmas.</p><p>The judgement has come from publishers as the industry-wide returns initiative reaches a critical point over the coming weeks. A smooth trial of automated returns last year has prompted speculation that Waterstone's is poised to implement the procedure across its chain of 195 stores, setting a standard for the industry.</p><p>Peter Kilborn, of Book Industry Communication, organiser of the returns initiative, said: "It's now a game of dare. Each side is waiting fo...

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