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WATERSTONES, formerly WATERSTONE\'S, is a British book retailer that operates 275 stores, employing around 3,500 staff in the UK and Europe in February 2014. Established in 1982 by Tim Waterstone , after whom the company was named, the bookseller expanded rapidly until being sold in 1993 to WHSmith . Bought again in 1998 by Waterstone, EMI & Advent International , the company was taken under the umbrella of HMV Group , which later merged the Dillons and Ottakar\'s brands into the company.

Following several poor sets of results for the group, HMV
HMV
put the chain up for sale. In May 2011, it was announced that A&NN Capital Fund Management, owned by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut
Alexander Mamut
, had bought the chain and appointed James Daunt as managing director. The company is incorporated in England & Wales as WATERSTONES BOOKSELLERS LTD, with its registered office at 203-206 Piccadilly , London
London
(which is also the location of its flagship store).

As well as the Waterstones
Waterstones
brand, the company owns the London bookseller Hatchards , and Irish shop Hodges Figgis . An average sized Waterstones
Waterstones
store sells a range of approximately 30,000 individual books, as well as stationery and other related products. The bookseller has concession agreements with Paperchase and previously with coffee chains Costa Coffee
Costa Coffee
and Starbucks
Starbucks
in some stores, but since 2012 has introduced its own CAFé W brand. For a time, Waterstones
Waterstones
sold eReaders , including in 2012 partnering with Amazon to sell the Amazon Kindle , but has since pulled out of this market due to commercial reasons.

CONTENTS

* 1 History and developments

* 1.1 Formation & WHSmith: 1982–1998 * 1.2 HMV
HMV
Group: 1998–2011 * 1.3 Alexander Mamut
Alexander Mamut
"> Early versions of store signage were gold in colour

FORMATION "> Waterstones
Waterstones
logo until 2010

In 2006 Giles stepped down from his position and was replaced by Gerry Johnson as managing director of Waterstones
Waterstones
and Simon Fox as group CEO. In April 2006 following two bids by Permira for the group, Tim Waterstone attempted to buy back the company from HMV
HMV
for £256 million, but later withdrew his offer specifying the conditions set by HMV
HMV
were "too punitive" to accept. A strategic review in September saw Waterstones
Waterstones
pull out of its franchise agreement with Amazon to re-launch its online business, Waterstones.com, independently. The chain also began to pilot a loyalty programme in South West England and Wales. The scheme was successful, launching nationally as The Waterstones
Waterstones
Card across its entire store portfolio.

Waterstones
Waterstones
piloted a brand refresh exercise in selected stores, beginning with Manchester\'s Arndale Centre in 2007. On 19 November 2007, the chain closed its first branch on Old Brompton Road. Following a consultation, the company's supply chain was overhauled in 2008 with the implementation of a 150,000 sq ft (14,000 m2) warehouse and distribution centre, located in Burton-upon-Trent . Existing direct-to-store deliveries from suppliers were replaced by a centralised warehouse capable of receiving merchandise and sorting an estimated 70 million books per year and 200 staff were made redundant by the process. In September 2008, Waterstones
Waterstones
began selling the Sony Reader in an agreement which saw the booksellers' branches and Sony Centre stores stock the reader exclusively for two weeks after its release. Waterstones.com began to supply eBooks in the .epub format. In November 2009, Waterstones
Waterstones
moved into second-hand bookselling in a partnership with Alibris setting up an online reselling tool called Waterstones
Waterstones
Marketplace, part of Waterstones.com. A re-branding saw the logo change from Baskerville to FS Alberta Pro until 2012

In January 2010, HMV Group announced that Waterstones
Waterstones
like-for-like sales over the Christmas period were down 8.5 per cent on the previous year. This culminated in the resignation of managing director Gerry Johnson with immediate effect. He was replaced by development director Dominic Myers, who was managing director of the British academic bookselling chain Blackwells until 2005. Myers joined HMV
HMV
in 2006 to oversee the integration of Ottakar's into the chain. In response to the decline in sales, he implemented a three-year plan in which branches were tailored to their local market alongside a 'rejuvenation' of the company brand and an increase in range. As part of these changes, Waterstones
Waterstones
implemented new branding in May 2010, developed by agency VentureThree. The company also moved to support the Rainbow Trust , which provides support to children with life-threatening and terminal illnesses and their families, in the same year.

After an announcement that profits would be at the lower end of analysts' forecasts due to falling sales and a share price fall of 20%, HMV Group indicated its intention to close a number of Waterstones
Waterstones
branches in January 2011. These stores closures, including two in Dublin
Dublin
, Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
and nine others across the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
occurred in February 2011. Further branch closures in Luton , Dorking
Dorking
, Lancaster University
Lancaster University
, Harrods
Harrods
, Gateshead
Gateshead
and Norwich Arcade were completed by the end of 2011.

ALEXANDER MAMUT & JAMES DAUNT: 2011–PRESENT

In May 2011 HMV Group announced the sale of Waterstones
Waterstones
to A"> Sutton branch, with Café W signage

Following a decision in late-2011 to scrap an e-reading offer in-branch, it was announced in May 2012 that Waterstones
Waterstones
would be selling the Amazon Kindle across its estate. James Daunt launched the new agreement with Amazon stating that Waterstones
Waterstones
would be offering "e-reading services and offer Kindle digital devices" throughout the company's branches and on its website, with an intention to "make the Kindle experience better". This announcement was received with surprise across the book industry as it had been suggested that Waterstones
Waterstones
was developing a partnership with Barnes "> Waterstones Cirencester branch

2013 saw the start of an overhaul of the company's business strategy, with centralised decision making giving way to store-based decisions and a renewed emphasis on traditional bookselling techniques. Waterstones
Waterstones
embarked on a major restructuring of staffing levels, with a company-wide consultation with 560 managerial staff to subsequently reduce roles within the company. This consultation led to Head Office staff departures and around 200 branch and regional managers leaving their posts. Waterstones
Waterstones
launched a number of new partnerships through the year, including with the University of Derby
University of Derby
to launch a professional qualification programme for its staff, with the Folio Society to extend customer reach and stock selection in London-based bookshops, and partnering with a new charity, BookTrust . By the end of 2013, Waterstones
Waterstones
had cut its losses to £12.2 million, opened 12 further Café W and embarked on a capital investment in its store portfolio of £29.5 million.

In 2014, the chain continued to manage its store footprint opening new stores, with locations in Ringwood, Blackburn and Southwold, its first branch to be without Waterstones
Waterstones
branding, as well as closing stores in Eastleigh and St Neots . Continued business strategy change saw further departures from Head Office in brand communication and PR and a renewed agency contract for Waterstones’ digital marketing with Epiphany. The retailer overhauled its business technology with new algorithms on its website to help personalise the online shopping experience, updated point-of-sale IT and by introducing contactless payment in its stores. The retailer partnered with Airbnb to hold a one-off ‘sleepover’ for customers in its Piccadilly branch in October 2014 after a customer was accidentally trapped in the Trafalgar Square branch after closing. Accounts for 2014 saw operating income losses narrow to £3.8 million, but sales slip by 5.9%.

The ongoing strategic changes made to the way the business operates included the decision in October 2015, after 3 years on sale in stores, to remove the Kindle from its offer following "pitiful" sales and handing the retail space over to books. This was followed, after a failed attempt to buy Blinkbox books from Tesco
Tesco
in January 2015, with Waterstones
Waterstones
announcing it had sold its ebook business to Rakuten Kobo Inc. in May 2016, subsequently directing customers who had purchased eBooks through the retailer to access their ebooks via Kobo's eBook site. This sale represented an exit from the eBook and eReader market for Waterstones
Waterstones
after 8 years and multiple platforms.

The company partnered with Oxfam in 2015 to raise £1 million for those impacted by the Syrian civil war crisis through a nationwide campaign called ‘Buy Books for Syria’. Further changes to shops were made in 2015, with the closure of Wimbledon and Birmingham
Birmingham
New Street , the opening of The Rye Bookshop and a return to Welwyn Garden City . The company reported an operating income of £5.4 million and a further narrowing of losses to £4.5 million from £18.8 million the previous year.

In a 2016 interview with Daunt, he stated that Amazon "defines how Waterstones
Waterstones
acts" and while Waterstones
Waterstones
could not compete with the internet retailer digitally, it could offer a credible alternative, believing there was "a future in physical bookselling." Waterstones continued to look at "fixing the basics" during 2016, such as adjusting store opening hours and harnessing data from the loyalty card as well as refurbishment of physical stores, including the Canterbury
Canterbury
branch, and work on its e-commerce routes through improvements to product ranking. Stores in Oxford Street Plaza , Edinburgh
Edinburgh
George Street , and Reading Oracle were closed, Harpenden Books , Glasgow
Glasgow
Fort , Tottenham Court Road were opened and Wimbledon and Watford
Watford
were reopened in new sites. The newly opened stores benefitted from a refreshed brand look, widely welcomed by the book trade. The retailer renewed its partnership with Oxfam to continue to raise money for the Syrian crisis, donating £5 for each ‘Book of the Month’ sold in-store during November 2016. Daunt made public his concern that the UK EU referendum was likely to impact on company sales due to an expected retail downturn following a ‘no’ vote. He later noted that sales had remained ‘buoyant’ following the decision to leave the EU, but remained pessimistic for the future.

Accounts show that Waterstones
Waterstones
made its first profit in 7 years of £11.7 million in the year ending April 2016. This included increased profits in Ireland, with sales rising 7% over the year, with the company expressing a desire to open more stores in Ireland. The management board was reduced from 7 members to 3 in August 2016, with the departure of Miranda Curtis and a statement that the future composition was under review. Waterstones
Waterstones
announced it had raised £300,000 for BookTrust in 3 years since partnering, and would continue the partnership for a fourth year.

TAKEOVERS

DILLONS

Acquired in 1995 by the Thorn EMI group, Dillons was the UK's second largest bookseller behind Waterstones
Waterstones
and was the bookselling arm of EMI's retail division, which included HMV
HMV
. Following the demerger of Thorn and EMI in 1996, the retail arm was divested from the EMI portfolio within a year and spun off into the HMV
HMV
Media Group, an investment venture between EMI Group and Advent International private equity group. This venture included HMV, Dillons and Waterstones
Waterstones
(the latter bought from WHSmith for £300 million), combining to make an international entertainment retailer of over 500 stores. Following a rebuffed takeover attempt in 1997 of WHSmith, Tim Waterstone became part of the deal and by May 1998, following the £801 million deal completion became chairman of the group. All Dillons stores were incorporated within the Waterstones
Waterstones
brand by 1998.

OTTAKAR\'S

Northallerton High Street branch

In September 2005 HMV Group began attempts to buy rival book chain Ottakar\'s . This alarmed publishers and authors who hoped the Office of Fair Trading would refer the takeover bid to the Competition Commission . In March 2006, the Competition Commission cleared Waterstones
Waterstones
for takeover of the Ottakar's, stating the takeover would "not result in a substantial lessening of competition", and is "not likely to affect book prices, range of titles offered or quality of service." Through extensive research they also found that "contrary to widespread perception, Waterstones, like Ottakar's, operates a book-buying system which mixes central and local input on stock selection."

On 31 May 2006, Waterstones
Waterstones
announced that it had successfully negotiated the takeover of Ottakar's. HMV
HMV
chief executive Alan Giles said: "A combined Waterstones
Waterstones
and Ottakar's business will create an exciting, quality bookseller, able to respond better to the increasingly competitive pressures of the retail market." Ottakar's chairman Philip Dunne said: "Over the last year the book market has undergone a significant change with new levels of competition from the supermarkets and online retailers impacting all specialist booksellers and in particular those with insufficient scale to compete on equal terms."

Following the takeover, HMV
HMV
announced that they would be rebranding every branch of Ottakar's as a Waterstones. In July 2006, a conversion programme was initiated and within four months, every Ottakar's store had been relaunched as a Waterstones
Waterstones
and had seen the loss of 100 jobs.

BOOKS ETC

In August 2008, the now defunct Borders chain agreed to sell eight Books Etc. stores to Waterstones
Waterstones
for an undisclosed sum. The takeover, which represented 34,000 sq ft of retail space and incurred no staff losses, increased Waterstones' presence within London
London
to nearly 50 stores, 'crucially areas that are not represented by Waterstones bookshops'. The stores, located in Fleet Street
Fleet Street
, London
London
Wall, Holborn , Wandsworth , Uxbridge
Uxbridge
, Finchley Road
Finchley Road
, and Canary Wharf were rebranded and merged into the Waterstones
Waterstones
chain by September 2008.

ETHICAL STANDARDS

NON-BRANDED STORES

Waterstones
Waterstones
opened its first non-branded shop in Southwold , Suffolk in July 2014 called Southwold Books. The company decided not to use its branding as it wished to ‘fit in’ with the town’s high proportion of independent retailers, but this move drew anger from local residents at the time as they viewed the move as "dishonest" and said that local shop rents were being increased because of chain stores moving in and this subsequently was "changing the character of the high street". Non-branded Waterstones
Waterstones
became an issue again in 2016 at a national level, following newspaper reports about not only Southwold Books but two further stores, The Rye Bookshop in Sussex and Harpenden Books in Hertfordshire , being opened and local residents not realising the connection with the retailer. Commentators were split on the ethics of the decision to open unbranded stores, but it was noted that at no point had attempts been made to hide the connection to the retailer. In interviews, James Daunt denied any "subterfuge" and said he wanted for the stores to behave as independent retailers do and have their own identity. He further stated that more unbranded stores were likely to open in the future.

TAX

Tim Waterstone and James Daunt have been critical of tax avoidance by Amazon.com in the British press. Amazon has received sustained scrutiny for the amount of its overall sales that are reported by its UK subsidiary, in comparison to those 'processed offshore in Luxembourg
Luxembourg
to avoid UK tax'. In the 2012-13 financial year, Amazon paid £3.2 million in tax on sales of £4.2 billion and received £2.5 million in grants from the government. In the same period, it was revealed that Waterstones
Waterstones
paid £11.9 million in tax, despite an operating loss of £25.4 million and sales of £410.4 million.

In a report on tax avoidance in the book industry, the magazine Ethical Consumer argued that A&NN Capital Fund Management, Waterstones' parent company, was located in Bermuda
Bermuda
and this 'was likely to be for tax avoidance purposes'. In response to this, Waterstones
Waterstones
issued a clarification on their website reading "As a UK registered and domiciled business, Waterstones
Waterstones
fulfils all its tax obligations. This will include both the payment and reporting of all necessary UK taxes, as set out under UK tax legislation." In the 2013-14 financial period, the first full year under A"> Interior of Reading Broad Street branch

* 2017 Bonnier Publishing Book Retailer of the Year * 2016 HarperCollins Bookshop Manager of the Year (Jonny Green) * 2015 Bertram Books Book Retailer of the Year, Books Are My Bag Manager of the Year (Jen Shenton) * 2013 Manager of the Year (Ian Owens) * 2011 Usbourne Children's Bookseller of the Year * 2010 Sue Butterworth Young Bookseller of the Year (Clare Boothby) * 2009 High Street Retailer of the Year, Wiley Manager of the Year (Ian Critchley) * 2008 Headline Bookselling Company of the Year, High Street Retailer of the Year, Nielsen Book Marketing Campaign of the Year

Other Awards

At the beginning of 2008, Waterstones.com was awarded a silver badge for the 'Best Books Website' category at the BT Online Excellence Awards.

In the Which?
Which?
consumer survey of British high street chains and retailers that looks at 'product, price, staff and shopping environment as well as whether they would recommend the shop to a friend', Waterstones
Waterstones
has ranked in top ten positions for many years, scoring 69% in 2009, 77% in 2011, 80% in 2014 and 79% in 2017.

Waterstones
Waterstones
also fared well in an online survey conducted for the consumer show Secret Shopper on Channel 4 , hosted by Mary Portas . Out of 101 High Street brands being rated by consumers, Waterstones "emerged as an early frontrunner".

In 2011, the company intranet 'Compass' won the 'Best Return on Investment' award and was 'Overall Winner' at the Interact Intranet Awards.

In 2012 and 2015, Waterstones
Waterstones
won the 'Sports Book Retailer of the Year' category at the British Sports Book Awards .

Waterstones, with its logistics partner UTL, won the 'Retail Supply Chain' and 'Overall Winner' award at the 2015 European Supply Chain Excellence Awards for "transforming its supply chain to strengthen its competitiveness in a book market that has changed dramatically..."

WATERSTONES PRIZES

Children\'s Book Prize

Waterstones
Waterstones
continued the Ottakar's Children's Book Prize under its own brand and since 2005, the Waterstones
Waterstones
Children\'s Book Prize has attempted "to uncover hidden talent in children's writing" by awarding authors with no more than two previously published books (adult or children's fiction).

* 2017 The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Milwood * 2016 My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons * 2015 Blown Away by Rob Biddulph * 2014 Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell * 2013 Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher * 2012 The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle * 2011 Artichoke Hearts by Sita Brahmachari * 2010 The Great Hamster Massacre by Katie Davies * 2009 The Thirteen Treasures by Michelle Harrison * 2008 Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls * 2007 Darkside by Tom Becker * 2006 The Diamond of Drury Lane by Julia Golding * 2005 The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill

Waterstones
Waterstones
is also the main sponsor of The Waterstones
Waterstones
Children\'s Laureate , previously sponsored by Ottakar's. The 2011–2013 role saw the position carry the Waterstones
Waterstones
branding for the first time, with the company stating it was 'up weighting activity' and 'supporting the role in stores and online in different ways throughout the year and beyond.' Holders of the role during sponsorship include Julia Donaldson , Malorie Blackman and the current holder, Chris Riddle .

Waterstones
Waterstones
Book Of The Year

Interior of the Sutton branch

The prize, which has been running since 2012, sees booksellers from across the company select a shortlist of books from any category, published at any time, before the winner is chosen by panel.

* 2016 The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry * 2015 The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith * 2014 The Minaturist by Jessie Burton * 2013 Stoner by John Williams * 2012 Polpo by Russell Norman

The Waterstones
Waterstones
11

Set up in 2011, the Waterstones 11
Waterstones 11
was created to promote debut literary fiction from new authors being published in the year ahead. Books were chosen from a list of 100 submitted by publishers, and were announced in January 2011 with in-store and online support, as well as a media campaign for the final 11. The inaugural 11 included the Orange Prize Winner The Tiger\'s Wife by Téa Obreht , Man Booker Prize nominee Pigeon English, by Stephen Kelman and the Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award winner When God Was a Rabbit , by Sarah Winman . The last list was announced in January 2013, following the discontinuation of the prize in January 2014.

LOCATIONS

London
London
Piccadilly flagship branch High Street Kensington branch, near the original Old Brompton Road branch

Waterstones
Waterstones
has academic and high street stores in Europe including the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
(with one store in Cork and previously with stores in Dublin
Dublin
and Drogheda
Drogheda
), and in the Netherlands
Netherlands
and Belgium. Some branches in the company are located in buildings of architectural and historical interest.

Flagship superstores

Its flagship store on Piccadilly , formerly the Simpsons of Piccadilly department store and notable for its 1930s-Modernist architecture, is the largest shop in the Waterstones
Waterstones
estate and claimed to be the largest bookstore in Europe. The main academic branch, formerly the flagship store of Dillons , is located on Gower Street, between University College London
London
and the Student Central
Student Central
, and promoted as Europe's largest academic bookstore. Aside from these branches, Waterstones
Waterstones
operates a number of large stores which are set over multiple floors. Waterstones
Waterstones
refer to these stores as 'superstores':

* Piccadilly, London
London
(formerly Simpsons of Piccadilly ) – flagship branch with six floors and an estimated 8 1/2 miles of shelving. In 2012, the head office of the company was moved to the store. * Gower Street, London
London
– academic branch with five floors and 5 miles of shelving * College Lane, Liverpool
Liverpool
– two floors, including the largest open-plan floor of books in Europe. * Deansgate , Manchester – three floors, with over 100,000 books in stock. * Milsom Street , Bath – three floors, with over 55,000 books in stock. * La Scala Cinema, Sauchiehall Street , Glasgow
Glasgow
– five floors, set in a former cinema * Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham
Nottingham
– four floors, with concessions

Shops of architectural and historical interest

* Kalverstraat , Amsterdam
Amsterdam
, designed by Dutch architect Hendrick Petrus Berlage * Wool Exchange , Bradford
Bradford
* High Street, Birmingham
Birmingham
, formerly Times Furniture Company * St Margaret's Street, Canterbury
Canterbury
, the basement has a display of the buried remains of a Roman bath-house * Dolphin -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

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Waterstones
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Waterstones
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