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Waterstones backtracks on unbranded store plans for Edinburgh

British bookshop chain Waterstones has backtracked on plans to open one of its unbranded stores in a district of Edinburgh that is already home to an independent bookshop, following an outcry from the literary community, the Guardian reports.

A shop will still be opened in the Stockbridge area of the city but it will now be clearly branded as Waterstones, according to Waterstones managing director James Daunt, who admitted that they ‘messed up’.

‘In our insular way we forgot about them,’ Daunt told the Guardian, acknowledging the independent bookstore Golden Hare Books, which has been operating in Stockbridge for four years. ‘Literally, I forgot entirely that they existed, which is one of the perils of a big chain … the left hand sometimes doesn’t know what the right hand is doing,’ he added.

Daunt also said that Waterstones will need to work with Golden Hare Books, and ensure that they ‘do not do anything predatory or anything that imperils them at all’.

Golden Hare Books manager Julie Danskin claimed the change of plans as a ‘small victory’, adding that, in future, ‘one other thing that Waterstones can do is really dial down the discount offers on books because it does hit us in a way that does not need to happen’.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, Waterstones was accused earlier this week of breaking its pledge to not compete with independent bookstores through its unbranded stores.

 

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Category: International news

 

The Long Shadow by Anne Buist

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