Why has Waterstones opened secret bookshops?


Southwold Books. @markheybo

Why has bookshop chain Waterstones opened unbranded branches in Rye, Harpenden and Southwold?

It's a marketing ploy. Waterstones boss James Daunt said they had opened Southwold books, Harpenden Books and the Rye Bookshop because they were areas where there are more independent shops rather than chains. He said:

"We're coming into quite sensitive High Streets, ones predominantly with independent retailers on them, and we wish to behave as they do... Part of the reason that we do it is to convince our own booksellers that they have the autonomy that they do have," he added.

However some shopkeepers in Southwold blame national chains for pushing up rents and business rates.

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