SECRET Waterstones? Oh, I say.....

Chapters: Numbers or Names?

Something good... (down with weird suckiness)

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Full Member
Sep 25, 2014
Three 'secret' Waterstones have opened, apparently, sporting independent livery.

Bounders? Cads? What's the problem?

We might care quite a lot or not, about the idea we are supporting an independent book-shop (there is one near me called Plackitt and Booth, Joanna Trollope visited recently, for a book signing and sit down dinner...I didn't go, alas but she is one clever writer... and every so often I am tempted to acquire that four foot toy giraffe in the window)

I used to go in often, and they even sold some books I co-wrote, in aid of raising extra pocket money for a deputation of children visiting from Belarus.

And...small world and all that, this independent bookshop in Lytham has the writer of The Coroner coming, Matthew Hall, as featured in a previous Litopia radio podcast

A writer at that time experiencing tribulations in dealings with the Beeb....

Independent bookshop, or actually Waterstones...

Read on.

Do we give it a big or a teeny-weeny So what?
So funny. With all the horrors going on in the world, Wstones should get spanked for - shock! - opening a secret bookshop!
It is marketing strategy - I get that, but if there is no sub-heading about being a division of Waterstones or something similar, it seems disingenuous and designed to deceive. There are people who want to support independent bookstores and are willing to perhaps pay a little more. Lord knows there are Amazon haters, and I imagine there would be an outcry if it were discovered that Amazon had done this.
I am sure you're right about that, Patricia. I'm somewhat ambivalent, veering between 'Meh' and just what you said.

But I defy it to keep me awake at night, and am ready, armed and prepared for bounderishness- type shocks at all times.

Best to be prepared.

And refuse all worthless imitations.

smelling salts.jpg
Just can't help thinking there are worse villains than Waterstones, and bigger problems to be exercised about if one wishes to be exercised. That said, it seems a little odd -- are they saying their brand has no value?
This is such a non-story! Book chain opens bookstore isn't really up there with the big headlines of today.

Perhaps Yokels fume at duping by harmless deception would be better...
Good to see you, Bernard.

Waterstones' subterfuge is no different to long-established practice in commerce, such as the food industry. Just think, of the number of supposedly right-on and independent makers of food that are really owned by a massive parent company, eg Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is part of the Unilever empire.

Car and motorcycle manufacturers have long carried on 'badge engineering', where the same body, engine, and running components are used by different vehicles, with only the name changed...but for widely varying prices! I once owned a Moto-Guzzi motorcycle which needed a new battery. The Fiat group owned them, at the time, and one of their car batteries fitted my bike for one-quarter the price that my local motorcycle shop quoted me.

As often happens, we buy an image, not the truth.
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I guess if the indie identity goes along with a certain autonomy to control which books they stock and to support local authors then that can only be a good thing. Certainly Waterstones already seems to be quite good at that. My local branch is very proactive. But then, so are some of the local indies too. Personally I don't have a problem with it. :)
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Chapters: Numbers or Names?

Something good... (down with weird suckiness)