bloggulentgreytripe

Waterstones put in the grip of the small

In Uncategorized on May 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm

This is a cute little snippet in today’s rag.

“When I interviewed Daunt in 2006 he told me that he was wary of what he called “the Waterstone’s brick wall” – when a company reaches the size at which systems and processes overtake passion and instinct. This, he said, is why he has deliberately kept Daunt Books small. He said that this tipping point is reached when a business has 100 staff. He has certainly hit the wall today – Waterstone’s has 4,500 staff.”

Can Daunt Books owner James Daunt inject soul back into Waterstones?

“Daunt believes that if the customer service and experience of shopping is good enough, then people will not mind paying a full price for their books. This is what he said: “Whether a book is £20 or £15, where does that come in the equation of being dealt with by a responsive member of staff who knows what they are talking about and is not wearing a Def Leppard T-shirt with a spike through whatever? Customers go out with a spring in their step about reading the book.””

Something here about authenticity and alignment of business values or just heady idealism?

Daunt Books in London: 

References:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/8525575/James-Daunt-parachuted-in-to-run-Waterstones.html

http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2011/05/15/trazzler_slide_show_beautiful_bookstores/slideshow.html

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