Waterstone's raises book prices

<p>Waterstone&#39;s is selling titles online at above recommended retail prices, despite cheaper deals being offered by other online retailers including Amazon and Borders. Some instore titles are also being sold above r.r.p.</p><p>Publishers including Osprey, Taschen, Ordnance Survey and Michelin do not print r.r.p.&#39;s on all of their products and Waterstone&#39;s in some cases is pricing titles above those set by publishers. OS Land-ranger maps have an r.r.p. of &pound;6.99, however, Waterstone&#39;s charges &pound;7.50 both instore and onine. Meanwhile, Amazon is advertising OS Landranger Map Sheet 190 for &pound;6.29 while Borders is selling it online for &pound;5.24.&nbsp; </p><p>The publishers that The Bookseller spoke to said that Waterstone&#39;s had not informed them of the move. Water-stone&#39;s has also upped the price on Michelin maps by between 50p and &pound;1, while Amazon and Borders are selling the range up to &pound;1 below r.r.p. </p><p>Paul Cordle, PR manager at Michelin, said Waterstone&#39;s was &quot;at liberty&quot; to charge whatever it wished &quot;irrespective&quot; of r.r.p. Taschen sales director, Roy Enticott, said the decision was Waterstone&#39;s to make. He added: &quot;The book-buying public will decide if it is the right decision or not.&quot;</p><p>Taschen&#39;s Movie Icons series, including titles on Woody Allen and Marilyn Monroe, has an r.r.p. of &pound;5.99, the price they are sold for instore by Waterstone&#39;s. However, on Waterstone&#39;s website the books are &pound;6.99&mdash;an increase of more than 16%. Amazon is selling the Allen title for &pound;5.39 and the Monroe book for &pound;4.49, while Borders is selling both for &pound;5.39 each.</p><p>A spokesperson for the retailer said: &quot;Waterstone&#39;s reviews its prices on a regular basis and we aim to offer the best range of titles on the high street, with a huge amount of them discounted or available as part of a promotion at any one time. We have changed the prices on a very limited number of products and are now looking at how customers respond to the changes within the context of wider promotional activity.&quot;</p><p>However, one un-named Waterstone&#39;s employee said: &quot;They say they are doing this to protect margin. To us at our shop it is more like price fixing.&quot; One publisher who asked to remain anonymous added: &quot;Waterstone&#39;s is not the only book retailer on the high street and it has a long way to go to match Amazon in UK sales. Increasing prices may be a short-term fix if the bottom line needs to be protected, but the consumer will have the final say.&quot;</p>