"Waterstone's must change," Daunt tells publishers

"Waterstone's must change," Daunt tells publishers

Waterstone's m.d. James Daunt has told publishers the current way the chain sells books is "not sustainable" as he explained the new move to central buying.

The Bookseller revealed yesterday how Daunt is reintroducing central buying but insisted store staff could order the books they want, when they wanted.

In an email to publishers sent late yesterday afternoon (21st July), Daunt said he regrets being unable to discuss the change individually with publishers. This was because the business is "in urgent need of revitalisation and because of the simple fact of the time of year". Explaining the buying change, he said: "It is a major change in the way that Waterstone's operates, with multiple and complex implications for both you and us. It can only be realised, of course, in agreement with yourselves, both individually and collectively.

"I hope that all of you will recognise that Waterstone's must change the way in which it sells books. As currently done, it is not sustainable."

He said the chain will thrash out the details of how it will operate central buying during the next 10 days. He added: "We will then want to discuss individually with you how this can be employed to best effect to sell more of your books, more intelligently and with less waste and value destruction."