Meanwhile, press reports indicate that Tim Waterstone himself is planning to buy back his old company. Gosh, I wish I had a pound for every time I've read that story. But sooner or later it will probably turn out to be true.
Amazon worldwide sold 1.6 million copies of the latest Harry Potter - surprise, surprise this did not return them a profit.
"Turnover is vanity : profit is sanity"
Without the advantage of listing and commission income from over a million 3rd party sellers Amazon would be unable to deliberately price point new books at a level which does not show them a profit.
In the short term their customers are the winners : however, retail history shows that such discounting will always have knock-on business failures, and often in the long-term a reduced catalogue selection.
As a rural independent bookshop owner I have made a submission to the Competition Commission re Waterstone's acquisition of Ottakar's. Me, I'm strongly for the takeover as without a vibrant retail bookshop backbone, via a resurgent Waterstone's, the supermarkets and Amazon are going to control the UK booktrade to suit their shareholder's interests.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Discounting and Wottakars
It's invidious, I know, but occasionally a comment on an earlier post seems to me to be sufficiently interesting as to warrant being fished out and posted on the front page. So it is with Clive Keeble's comments on discounting and the proposed Waterstone's/Ottakar's merger. Clive is a small independent bookseller who actually favours the merger, which is unusual. Here's what he says: