Waterstones reported an 80% increase in annual profit, and six years after the e-book’s rise threatened its prospects for a brighter future.
Children’s books were successfully launched by Harry Curtled and The Cursed Child by David Walliams and J.K. Rowling. Non-book products such as greetings cards, stationery and educational toys have been successful in browsers and currently account for 10% of turnover.
James Daunt, managing director at Waterstones, said the store’s fortunes have changed dramatically since taking office in 2011 and the success of e-book readers such as the Amazon Kindle marks the imminent death of High Street Books.
He said: “When I took over Waterstones, his financial condition was deteriorating, and losing terrible money, the Kindle was on sale.” It looked bleak. There is no such thing now, it is good, wise, and better. ”
Waterstones said that as of April 29, 2017, pretax profit increased to ￡ 18 million from ￡ 9.9 million a year ago. This means cost savings and the shift from less profitable academic course books to more lucrative products such as stationery and toys. 2016 is the first profit to Waterstone since the 2008 financial crisis. 2017 sales of 404 million pounds.
Daunt said there is a lack of blockbuster this year to keep non-readers in a hurry. But he said that after Michael Wolf’s arrival of Trump, 2018 will be different: “It’s a staggering seller.”
For non-book projects that account for more than 10% of sales, Watersoft has far fewer textbooks and technical books since 2011, Daunt said. “There has been considerable change in the product mix.
“I think the business is better year after year, and it has fewer people in the stores and at headquarters.”
Daunt added that the economy in some stores was improving as rents fell as the lease was renewed.
With the shift in online sales, high-end street rivals shutting down stores, Waterstones has begun to expand again. On Christmas Eve, it opened five new bookstores and will open another 15 bookstores this year.
Last year, Waterstones was sold by its owner, Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut, and bankers are talking to potential buyers. Competitors of private equity firms and street markets are expected to be interested in the business, some 200 million pounds.
Daunt said: “The sale of this product is not a secret, many people are not interested in this is no secret.
Nick Bubb, an independent retail analyst, believes having Waterstones as an opportunity could attract rival high street bookseller WH Smith and even Amazon to open bookstores in the United States.
Bubb said: “It’s not like private equity trading, because they’ve reversed the situation.” It feels like more deal sales. WH Smith is likely to conclude deals through competition regulators, saying it wants to make Waterstones an independent high-end market chain or advance the airport. ”
As Daunt joins Waterstones, readers are moving from physical books to Kindles at an alarming rate, with sales of ￡ 100 million in 18 months. Today’s situation is the opposite, e-book sales have declined for several years, while the physical book market is steadily growing.