Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
Waterstone's boss brands Amazon 'utterly ruthless'
The new boss of Waterstone's has described Amazon.co.uk as a "dispiriting" place to shop and said that the business tactics used by the online retailer are "utterly utterly ruthless".
Mr Daunt is implementing a turnaround plan at Waterstone's after it was bought by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut in the summer.Photo: Clara Molden
James Daunt, the managing director of the country's biggest high street book chain, said that 13 years after its UK launch Amazon now sells almost exactly the same number of books as Waterstone's.
"Unless you are offering more to customers and are doing it better than Amazon you are going to lose," said Mr Daunt in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.
However, the retail executive, who joined Waterstone's in June, argued that Amazon is a "really dispiriting" place to buy books as people who shop on the website are "denying themselves the pleasure of browsing in a bookshop".
Amazon launched in the UK in 1998, selling over 1.4 million books and offering prices that were up to 40pc below high street prices. It has since launched the Kindle, an e-reader that allows people to download digital books.
Mr Daunt is implementing a turnaround plan at Waterstone's after it was bought by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut in the summer. Waterstone's has been suffering from falling sales and intense competition from online rivals such as Amazon. Mr Daunt's plans include launching Waterstone's own brand of digital e-reader next year. Full story at The Telegraph.