Waterstone's claims 'strong growth' at Piccadilly

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Waterstone's this week rejected claims that sales at its Piccadilly flagship had foundered, reporting strong sales and "substantial growth" at the &pound;5m store.</p><p>

Sources within the chain had alleged that Waterstone's Piccadilly sales were consistently 30% below budget. It was claimed that "brisk movement" at management level, a high turnover of booksellers and an exodus of goods-in staff had contributed to a general malaise.</p><p>
But branch manager Seraphina Grenelli and Lisa Milton, area manager for central London, both vigorously denied that sales at the shop were under par. Ms Milton, who managed the opening of the Piccadilly branch on a secondment last year, added: "My bonus depends on it." While neither would give sales details, Ms Grenelli said the negative figure mooted was "entirely wrong". Sales, she added, were "very pleasing".</p><p>
Staff turnover was high, Ms Grenelli said, but not out of kilter with competitors or other retail sectors in central London. Ms Grenelli succeeded Ms Milton as branch manager in September after joining as retail manager in July. She replaced David Hayden, who left the company to pursue a career in publishing.</p><p>
Ms Milton said that although staff had left the goods-in department at Piccadilly, she supported them in their moves to "better paid jobs".</p><p>
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