“When the last Richard Osman came out, Penguin bought the number one spot on all WH Smith in-store bestseller charts so it had to be displayed as the bestseller in every single store, whether it actually was or not,” Barry Pierce, who worked at the retailer from 2020 to 2021, recently claimed on social media…
…Waterstones itself previously accepted millions of pounds each year from publishers to position titles in its “bestseller” charts, but Mr Daunt said he put an end to these deals as soon as he was appointed.
“Since I took over in 2011, Waterstones has never taken one penny to place books [on shelves]. The year before, Waterstones took £27 million [from publishers],” Mr Daunt said… More here.
This is not the only difference between the two stores. Go into WH Smith and you are greeted by untidy, often dirty, stores and very high prices all around. Plus disinterested staff and a sense of ‘how the hell are they still in business?’
Go into Waterstones and the stores are inviting, clean and tidy, and the staff could not be more helpful. It is always a pleasant experience.