Waterstones reckon the Kindle is dead
Waterstones teamed up with Amazon to sell the Kindle in its stores, have seen sales of physical books go up by 5% in December, with the Kindle barely making a mark.
Kindle sales had “disappeared to all intents and purposes”, Waterstones said.
Waterstones' chief executive James Daunt spoke words to the Financial Times, claiming that the resurgence of proper books was due to the chain refurbishing some of its 290 stores.
Yes, that is clearly it. Nicer shops.
WE reckon it could also suggest that as with every gadget since time began, that anybody who wanted to buy a Kindle, probably now has a Kindle, and maybe isn't in a hurry for another.
Head office also handed more control over what stores sold to the managers running them, so they could cater their stock to local tastes. “We used to try and run exactly the same bookshop in Blackpool as in Hampstead. That, my youngest daughter would tell you, is probably not sensible,” Mr Daunt said.
Of course, Waterstones have only accounted for their own sales and most people buy Kindles directly from Amazon, rather than going to a book shop to buy them where they're marked-up. And Waterstones shouldn't get too blasé about the comeback of 'real' books, because their forecast for the year involves them hoping to break even.