Analysis: Waterstones boss begins new chapter at Barnes & Noble

James Daunt

Waterstones’ owner Elliott Advisors has acquired America’s biggest bookstore Barnes & Noble and made James Daunt boss of both. Retail Week looks at how he plans to make a success of the US institution.

Daunt has been the boss at Waterstones since 2011 and was brought in to turn the struggling business around.

The book chain hadn’t made a profit since 2008 but by April 2016, Waterstones registered a £9.8m pre-tax profit up from a £4.5m loss the previous year.

By April 2017, the bookseller recorded an 80% jump in annual profits.

Barnes & Noble has 627 stores across all 50 states and posted an adjusted EBITDA of $133m for its third quarter, ending January 26, compared to $139.5m for the same period the previous year.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

During December, registered users can access 24 free articles in our advent calendar - find it here or on the homepage.

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.