Bookseller Waterstone’s is remodelling 20 of its regional flagships as part of its renewal programme to turn around the business, which has revealed a slump in full-year profits.
The new format includes a rebranded fascia, improved range, revamped till areas, an enhanced children’s section and more space for shoppers to “sit and relax”. Some of the shops will also feature Paperchase concessions.
Three stores have so far been reformatted and the remainder will be by the end of the summer. The 20 stores account for 21% of the bookseller’s sales.
The changes comes as parent HMV revealed a slump in operating profit at Waterstone’s to £2.8m from £7.2m in the year to April 24.
However, HMV’s group pre-tax profit surged 17.7% to £74.2m. Total group sales rose 3.1% to £2bn.
At HMV’s eponymous shops in the UK and Ireland like-for-likes declined 2.4% but revenue increased 7.6% to £1.2bn. Waterstone’s total sales slid 6.5% to £513m and like-for-likes fell 6.2%.
HMV group chief executive Simon Fox said Waterstone’s performance was “disappointing” but he expects “big improvements in profitability in the year ahead”.
He said HMV, which operates 285 eponymous stores, would open two or three live venues a year through its Mama business, as well as acquire or open the same number of festivals.