Can the Indie Bookseller Ethos Translate to a Chain?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Stellar customer service, a curated list of titles, and intense localization are hallmarks of indie bookstores. Can they work across a large chain?

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By Edward Nawotka

Today’s feature story offers some advice to Waterstone’s new MD James Daunt. A large part of Daunt’s strategy is translate much of the ethos that made his eponymous bookstore chain in London such a success: stellar customer service, a tightly curated list of titles, intense localization. These are all wonderful qualities to have in a bookstore, but they require money, patience, and genuine attention to detail. Assuming they are currently absent, can they be scaled up to be work reliably across a large chain? Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

Edward Nawotka is the Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. A former foreign correspondent, he has covered the book business since 2000, serving as daily news editor for Publishers Weekly and columnist for Bloomberg News.