Saturday, 2 May 2009
Waterstones report a drop in sales and also announce that they are to make 650 people redundant. Now I'm no retail guru but there is one thing I wouldn't be doing and that is try to comptete with the supremarkets and Amazon on price. So don't bother. So what would I do? Do something different. Provide the customer with a deeper range, give back the autonomy you've taken away from the managers and let them sell to their customers. They know their audience. Competing on price alone will not work. Amazon and Tesco will gobble you up. Waterstones seem totally obsessed with market share. And the Hub is not the answer. Sub contracting distribution to a company that specialises in car parts is interesting. Waterstones dominates high street bookselling. Use that strength. Dare to be different and you may survive. If you follow the economics of the Hub you may just disappear into your own black hole.