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How to be a good wife waterstones

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I looked at him and he looked at me. He had flown over to New York from London for one of his holidays — which he had just got under way by firing me. Hornby looked as if he was feeling cheap and embarrassed, and no doubt he was. He coloured, muttered something about transition arrangements and set off hastily for the door. He opened it, and then turned back.

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Woman tweets Waterstones, ends up with a husband

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Now comes Chapter 2. By David Segal. Wrong, countered Mr. The right answer is three degrees. Yes, the cover of a book catches a bit more light, and attention, if tilted at four degrees, especially on shelves below eye level.

But the spine of a book starts to bend, ever so slightly. Daunt said, grinning to acknowledge just how wonky this discussion was. A soft-spoken year-old with a puckish smile and iron resolve, Mr.

Daunt steered Waterstones out of a death spiral by rethinking every cranny of the company, from small those shelves to large the business model. And store managers have been given plenty of leeway to transform their shops into places that feel personally curated and decidedly uncorporate.

Others, like the shop on Gower Street in London, have cafes with added electrical sockets and are swarmed day and night with laptop-toting college students, most of them consuming more electricity than coffee.

Daunt said. Defying predictions that chain bookstores were doomed in an Amazon world, the privately held Waterstones returned to profitability in , Mr. Now comes the question that will rivet American book lovers as much as any page turner: Can he do it again? Daunt will move to New York City this month and serve as the new chief executive. His guiding assumption is that the only point of a bookstore is to provide a rich experience in contrast to a quick online transaction. Daunt said over lunch at a Japanese restaurant near his office in Piccadilly Circus.

That has to turn around. If that sounds like hype, consider what has happened in Britain. Those selections almost always become best sellers. It sold , copies. There are other ways that Mr. Daunt said, and it now accounts for 5 percent of sales. But the company has largely persisted by selling the pleasure of bookstores first and books second.

Because if a store is charming and addictive enough, goes Mr. The book itself is better than the same book bought online. You chose it with your own eyes, your hands, your ears. When Mr. Daunt took over at Waterstones, there was plenty of skepticism about him among publishers.

His only previous bookselling experience was running what was then a chain of six stores that he had founded, Daunt Books. He had managed about 50 people.

Waterstones employed 3, Plus, he seemed a bit too erudite for a mass-market retailer; his style was more sommelier than salesman. And he had some radical ideas. The fees gave publishers the power to dictate which books would be stocked and where they would be displayed, in every single Waterstones. Although best sellers in Truro, near the southern coast of England, are different from best sellers in, say, Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, these Waterstones were essentially interchangeable.

To Mr. Daunt, this was manifestly insane. He likened co-op fees to crack, an easy high that comes with an intolerable price. Publishers liked the co-op system because it let them increase the profile of any book they backed with a payout. Daunt despised. Customers, he argued, had a hard time finding a third book they really wanted. Through months of tough negotiations, Mr. Daunt urged publishers to junk the co-op system and instead offer Waterstones a uniform discount on all books.

Daunt pointed out an upside. Let Waterstones choose which books to stock, Mr. Daunt said, and he would slash that expense. Today, just 4 percent of books are returned to publishers, and the figure is heading lower. Without a co-op system to maintain, Mr. Daunt slimmed down his staff, both at headquarters and in stores. Productivity at Waterstones went up, too. Employees are selling books, not boxing them up to mail back. Publishers are now in constant dialogue with Mr.

Daunt and his buyers about upcoming books, often nine months before publication, relying on the strength of what is between the covers. Actually, the covers matter, too. Waterstones executives — and this is true of large chains around the world — will often suggest alterations, some large, others tiny.

It went back to green when spring arrived. Publishers say the result of Mr. He is formal and not very cuddly, as several friends put it, but when he discusses his favorite subjects — great novels, the Hebrides — he glows with almost adolescent joy. At other times, there is a wink embedded in his voice, a tone that suggests he is letting you into a conspiracy of sane people.

He joined the corporate finance department of J. Morgan in Manhattan, shortly after graduating from Cambridge University in He loved the work and the money, but his wife, Katy Steward, recoiled at the prospect of 40 years of dinnertime stories about stock swaps and high-yield bonds. Daunt asked. Daunt has always taken an unusual approach to vacations, at least for a wealthy adult with a wife and two daughters, now 16 and He and his family have backpacked through Ethiopia, Romania, Cuba and many other countries, for days at a time, bedding down when they find a resident with extra space, which is often a sofa or a floor.

On yearly trips to Jura, an island off the west coast of Scotland, they stay in a cave that usually shelters goats and deer. In worst-case scenarios, they sleep outdoors. You just huddle. In , he dreamed up a bookstore that he hoped would be every bit as memorable — one that was organized by country. The section on Brazil, for instance, would offer not just guidebooks but Brazilian fiction, nonfiction and history.

The first Daunt Books, which opened in , dazzled patrons the moment they walked in, though not because of its country-centric arrangement. It was the store itself, the long-shuttered home of an antiquarian bookseller, constructed in the Edwardian age, its oak shelves, galleries, balcony and skylight all gloriously intact. While Mr. Daunt now speaks at conferences on the art of bookselling, he learned it on the fly, without taking a class or even reading up on the subject.

By , one of the biggest threats to Daunt Books was the imminent demise of Waterstones. The infrastructure of British bookselling depended on its survival. As much as Mr. Daunt loathed the uniformity and soullessness of chain bookstores, he thought he might have the only medicine that could save the company.

A friend would soon introduce him to Alexander Mamut, a Russian billionaire with a genuine love for books. Daunt in charge. This proved a very wise investment. In April of last year, Mr. Daunt took over Waterstones, he did away with so-called mystery shoppers, a common retail tactic in which undercover buyers report on a variety of performance metrics at stores, like speed of service and tidiness. Daunt considered this patronizing and bound to engender ill will between management and staff.

He needed employees who relished their work, preferably book lovers who evangelized about their favorite reads. He needed people like Kurde Atfield. She has been managing the Waterstones in Horsham, a town about 40 miles outside London, since She grew up in Iraq, where she struggled through Dickens and Proust in an effort to impress her father.

Shelves in the store were strewn with her handwritten raves on small pieces of paper. For years, Ms. Atfield would receive weekly planograms from company headquarters, a visual layout that determined nearly every square foot of the store — which books were placed on tables, where those tables stood and so on. The planogram was enforced by occasional visits from HMV managers.

Deviations were noted, and scoldings were delivered in follow-up emails. As HMV foundered, the company was in too much disarray for spot checks.

So Ms. Atfield, for the first time, configured the store exactly as she wanted. She ditched the pink cardboard lining that was supposed to cover the shelves of promoted books. And she stocked the most prominent shelves with the titles that were selling well in Horsham, rather than the ones mandated by HMV.

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Now comes Chapter 2. By David Segal. Wrong, countered Mr. The right answer is three degrees. Yes, the cover of a book catches a bit more light, and attention, if tilted at four degrees, especially on shelves below eye level.

Can Britain’s Top Bookseller Save Barnes & Noble?

Waterstones , formerly Waterstone's , is a British book retailer that operates shops, mainly in the UK and also other nearby countries. Established in by Tim Waterstone , after whom the company was named, the bookseller expanded rapidly until being sold in to WHSmith. As well as the Waterstones brand, the company owns the London bookseller Hatchards , [9] Irish shop Hodges Figgis , [9] and reached an agreement to purchase Foyles in Waterstones administers and supports various literary awards, including the Children's Laureate award [13] and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. He set up his first shop in Old Brompton Road , Kensington with the ambition of creating a 'different breed of bookshop', using techniques he had seen in the United States. The model proved successful and the chain set about expanding its shop portfolio. In WHSmith took a strong minority stake in the chain, and ten years after its birth, by , Waterstone's had grown to be the largest bookseller group in Europe. The chain was part of the eventual dismantling of the Net Book Agreement , when in , following a promotion by then rivals Dillons, the company decided to pursue its own discounting promotion on selected titles.

How book tycoon behind Waterstones won a lucrative victory over WH Smith

I know what my husband would say: that I have too much time on my hands; that I need to keep myself busy. That I need to take my medication. Empty nest syndrome, he tells his friends at the pub, his mother. He's always said I have a vivid imagination. Marta has been married to Hector for longer than she can remember.

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to be a Good wife?

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Buy How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman from Waterstones today! Click and Collect from your local Waterstones or get FREE UK delivery on orders over.

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