Site of the writer Andrew Wood

We all know that as of recent years the fate of many things are being sealed – it is only a matter of time. With the rise of online shopping sites such as Play, Amazon and eBay, which are dealing in a wide array of items to sell, from CDs and DVDs to books and clothing, the damage done to some stores in our local high streets is taking its toll. It is a case of survival of the fittest.

Waterstone’s are undoubtedly the strongest retailers of books in the UK and are, in my opinion, one of the fittest in this survival fight.

In years gone past we have seen the fall of a few once large-scale book retailers:

  • Ottakar’s – a who were taken over by Waterstone’s (A subsidiary of HMV Group) in March 2006
  • Dillons Booksellers – An age-old chain that started off as a single store in London. It ran from 1932 – 1999 and was bought by HMV Group in 1995. It ceased to exist as a separate name in 1998 and many branches were re-branded as Waterstone’s.

A more recent example of the decline of places such as these is the international book and music seller ‘Borders’. There has been a lot of publicity in recent months about the fate of this chain – profits and shares are plummeting and they owe a lot of money to publishers!

I remember the large Borders that was in Birmingham – I always liked to pop in and see what they had on special or to see if there were any DVDs or CDs I wanted. There was a Starbucks with it too so you had a bit of everything. But with the many payroll cuts and store closures… this branch was quick to go out with a major bang of a sale. Unfortunately I missed it!

Borders are reportedly relying on Publishers to help them out – http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0528385620110105

For a final thought – when it comes to those independent book shops that many have seen pop-up then quickly disappear, what chance do they have against the monopolisation of the big name chains?

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