James Daunt’s new model for Waterstones “demands collaboration with publishers”, and the chain wants to be "more experimental", said Sandra Taylor, its head of events and external relations, at the London Book Fair.
Speaking yesterday (15th) at the seminar We Are All in it Together: Collaborate or Compete? Taylor said: “James Daunt’s new business model for Waterstones demands collaboration with publishers. Waterstones has become more open to collaboration recently, but as a retailer we have to be customer focused, and so that collaboration needs to benefit the customer.”
She added: “On our events side there is so much space for creative collaborations, but it needs to be genuine. I want Waterstones to be more experimental and to be more open to taking a punt on ideas. If there is a genuine reason to collaborate, one that benefits customers and increases sales, we are all ears.”
Other panellists at the seminar included Nic Bottomley, co-owner of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights; Margaret Heffernan, author and entrepreneur and Sam Missingham, head of audience development at HarperCollins UK.
Bottomley said that in the past year or so the publishing industry had become, “a lot more open to collaboration” and Missingham agreed that all publishers and retailers should, “have the same aim, to put books into customers hands. Heffernan surmised that for the publishing industry, “collaboration is key, because nobody industry wins, unless everybody wins.”