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?

chain links

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

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.