Thursday, December 11, 2008

Woolworths Today - Waterstones Tomorrow?

Waterstone's total sales fell to £235.1m over its half-year to 25th October from £244.5m a year earlier, representing a like-for-like sales decline of 3.1% (1.4% decline after adjusting for the prior year release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). HMV said this reflected a very challenging book market, which contracted by over 5% in the period, impacted particularly by poor performance in the non-fiction category.

The book chain's operating loss rose to £9.3m, compared with £8.9m a year earlier, but this included a £1.5m year-on-year increase in costs from the 'BookHub' supply chain implementation. HMV said the the underlying improvement in the operating loss reflected a 60 basis point increase in gross margin (after adjusting for Harry Potter) and tight control of operating costs (which fell 1.2%), more than offsetting the sales decline.

The HMV Group, owners of Waterstones generated a seasonal operating loss of £22.8m in the period (2007 £21.5m).


update 12th January 2009 :

Some 200 jobs are to be axed at Waterstone's as a result of new measures to cut costs at the books chain. Staff at the 303-outlet books specialist will be told this morning about the redundancies, as a three-month consultation period gets under way.

source :

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Shop Online With Confidence

UK Consumers Out-Shop US Consumers Online

With Christmas shopping season approaching, new research shows that UK shoppers are likely to be less discouraged by the economic downturn than their counterparts in the US. The average UK consumer will spend 40 percent more online than the average US consumer and make 24 percent more of their purchases online, according to a new study from Jupiter Research.

More details about this recent research can be found at:

Buy vouchers for Christmas today at:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Theatre Tokens Christmas Gift Pack


Why not treat your friends or loved ones this year to one of our Theatre Tokens Christmas gift packs - whilst stocks last:

This year's pack contains £70 of Theatre Tokens plus a £10 Superbreak gift voucher. Also included is the Theatre Tokens 2009 slimline diary - all very attractively boxed. Buy for the remarkable price of £75 sent post free to UK addresses. You can also pay to include more Theatre Tokens in the presentation box if required, plus we can personalise the package for you and send it direct to someone as a gift!

More details, plus the ordering link can be found at:

Saturday, September 06, 2008


Waterstone's has seen a downturn in sales over the summer reflecting what it called a "weaker book market". The chain reported that like-for-like sales had dropped by 1.7% since its year-end on 26th April even when the effects of the last Harry Potter book are removed from the figures.

The figures, for the 18 weeks ended 30th August 2008, show like-for-like sales down by 4.3% when the first eight days sales of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which was released on 21 July 2007, are included in last year's figures. Total sales at the chain dropped by 5.9%. The group said that a "well-executed marketing strategy ensured that market share was maintained".

Waterstone's managing director Gerry Johnson told The Bookseller that footfall was quieter than last year: "It's not as strong as we have been but there are two contributing factors. The first is, as everybody knows, it's a tough market. Then there is Harry Potter - when you had a quarter of a million people outside of stores last year there was a clear halo effect. But I am really pleased with market share. We were maintaining it and are now growing it."

Johnson also lamented the lack of big titles: "We were clearly missing big titles in non-fiction this year - there was a lack of a God Delusion or Alistair Campbell." But he added: "Looking ahead we are in a great place with the reward card, we have a very very stong academic offer and there are good titles to come."

The figures, which are released by parent HMV Group, as part of its interim management statement, show the music chain, HMV, faring better, with like-for-like sales growth of 4.3% in HMV UK & Ireland, and HMV International's like-for-like sales growth of 2.9%. Overall the HMV Group saw like-for-like sales up 1.3%, or by 2.2% excluding Harry Potter. HMV chief executive Simon Fox said: "In what is, undoubtedly, a tough consumer environment, the solid start made by the group to the new financial year means that our plans are in line with the board's expectations, and I remain confident that our strategic initiatives are on track"

Taken From 'THE BOOKSELLER' Friday 5th September 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blackwell Decline Continues

Blackwell Retail Makes 30 Redundant :

Some 30 staff at academic bookseller Blackwell have been made redundant following a store restructure. David Prescott, head of retail operations at the firm, said the staff came from a number of shops and held “varying roles and responsibilities”.

New shop structures have now been rolled-out across the chain. Prescott said the job losses were part of “the ongoing turnround plan” for Blackwell Retail, which earlier this year announced a loss of £7.6m for the year ended June 2007 and warned it would not make a profit in the next financial year.

“Our shop structures were felt to be very inconsistent, did not allow us to match sales patterns and did not allow adequate flexibility,” said Prescott. “We had inconsistent roles throughout the chain and this therefore made succession planning difficult and too cost-heavy. As such it made it difficult to manage our productivity and performance.”

Prescott said the changes resulting from the store review had allowed Blackwell to give the managers of each shop “greater control of their payroll management and localised trading patterns”. He added: “These decisions have been taken at a local level and will help to ensure that shops are able to meet their local customers’ needs.” Consultation was ongoing with a small number of people, the company added.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


The Hinge Centre which is based in Goole, is expanding its service provision to Bridlington by setting up a separate centre.
They soon will need more volunteer helpers to assist with craft, cooking and basic life skill session delivery, people who will be able to spare a few hours a week staffing the new reception and dealing with duty referrals from young people.
The new Hinge Centre will open its doors in Autumn 2008 with a celebration event in order to officially launch this service provision. It will be a themed day incorporating a BBQ, Buffet and Open Day for all residents of Bridlington. We have already received confirmation that the local press will be attending together with representatives of East Riding Council Regeneration Team.
Anyone who can kindly contributes to the centre will be formally recognised within the local media and it is also our intention to have a plaque prepared giving details of all who made donations both financially and in kind to the centre.
Please contact: Martin Crossland - Strategic Development Manager
Telephone: 01405 765435
Mobile: 0779 368 0821
or email:
The Hinge is a unique project that offers holistic services in an anti-oppressive environment to young people with Advice, Information and Support, now also to all people, who are vulnerably accommodated. The organisation also provides ongoing support to young people living independently, in the form of resettlement workshops including independent life skills (i.e. how to budget, shop, cook, bake, clean, wash & iron and also assistance with personal hygiene). Their educational needs are also met with training, to help with basic literacy and numeracy and basic First Aid, Health & Safety and Health & Hygiene and WEA Standing up for Your Rights courses taking place within the centre.
All of the people who use the services at The Hinge Centres are disadvantaged in at least one or more ways. The identified issues mainly involve homelessness, relationship breakdown, overcrowding in the family home, lack of positive parental guidance, difficult childhood experiences, neglect, abuse, self-harm, poverty, isolation, prostitution, single teenage pregnancy or single parents, literacy difficulties, unemployment, low incomes, mental health issues, learning disabilities, experience of drug and alcohol misuse among many other issues. All the young people who access our service have experienced a lesser quality of life than what would be considered equal or relative to that of others.

Thursday, June 05, 2008



A self catering 2 bedroom apartment ideal for 4 people and which can sleep up to 6,
situated in the Bridlington Old Town Historic and Conservation Quarter
close to the famous Priory Church.

This is a conversion of the old Magpie's Nest Antique Shop and now one of the most exclusive addresses in town. For bookings contact Roger on 01262 604828

The property is presented to the highest standard and offers:

1 x Double bedroom with en-suite bathroom
1 x Twin bedroom with en-suite shower room
Additional sleeping for up to 2 people can also be facilitated

Weekly rates until 31st December 2011 are £400 Low to Mid Season and £500 per week High Season.
Daily rates are £60 per night Low to Mid Season and £75 per night High Season.
That's less than £20 per person per night - based on 4 persons.
Minimum 2 night stay and 10% price supplement for 6 adults.
High season is June, July, August and September. Prices include all electricity, gas and bed linen etc.
Free adjacent on-street parking, the largest part with no restrictions.
This area of town is not a 'parking nightmare' like the centre and around the sea-front!

For further information, to check availability, make a reservation or arrange a viewing, please telephone any day between 8am and 10pm on 01262 604828.

Alternatively you can email:


The new website for this superior accommodation can be found at:

We are proud to be part of the ongoing regeneration of the Bridlington developing historic art, food and antique quarter in the OLD TOWN

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Blackwell - deeper in the red!

Academic bookseller Blackwell has shrugged off a loss of £7.6m in 2007, but warned that it will not make a profit in its next trading year.

In figures for the 12 months to end-June 2007, turnover at the 60-store Blackwell chain fell to £77.2m from £79.7m the previous year. Its £7.6m losses were also worse than the previous year’s trading, when it lost £6.9m.

Stephen Harlow, non-executive chairman at Blackwell, said that the trading period did not include Blackwell’s three-year turnaround plan, which will only start to show results in the retailer’s next trading statement. “It’s not been a good year for selling books in the traditional market,” he said. “It’s been tough but we do feel that to an extent we are bucking the trend. [In the year since June 2007] we have seen some growth and we are on target for the first year of our turnaround plan.”

Since the end of the financial results period Blackwell has announced that it is to take its business abroad, with branches to open in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East by the end of 2008.

Harlow said that while the business is currently performing better, he still anticipates a loss for the year ending June 2008. “We now have the resources to fund that loss. The next step for 08/09 is to stop losing money and make the business cash neutral. In the third year the business will be brought to the surface.”

The Yorkshire Bookseller AUSTICKS whom Blackwells purchased a number of years back, then systematically closed down all stores bar one (renaming that one BLACKWELL!) continues to find a new lease of life however at
Thousands of traditional Austicks customers migrated to the new site, where they now purchase books on a regular basis.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Book Tokens @ Amazon

Amazon have withdrawn the sale of National Book Tokens because they are unable to compete with our direct free post service.
Here at The Token House we are now the only company in the world that send out the National Book Token same day post free with no fees.
Book your vouchers direct 'HERE'

Monday, March 17, 2008

Employers Agency: Coming Soon!

Let us do the hard work for you. Fast, friendly and reliable service that saves you money and time. Permanent, temporary and contract staff will be supplied.

By advertising, sifting, shortlisting, pre-interviewing, testing and referencing for you, Bridlington's new East Riding Recruitment Consultancy has the experience to handle the complete job right through to filling that job! In fact, we can provide any part of the recruitment process to meet your individual company needs - with our mix of 3 tiered exclusive packages: BRONZE / SILVER / GOLD

These services will soon be available online and in 2009 from our new Bridlington Office at: 92, St. John Street YO16 7JS.

In the meantime you can keep up to date with the ongoing development of this service at either EMPLOYERSAGENCY.COM or EMPLOYERSAGENCY.CO.UK

It's going to be good - well of course it will be because it's from those guys that brought you BRIDJOBS !

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Stay in Bridlington at the Magpie's Nest

A self contained 2 bedroom apartment which can sleep up to 6 people, situated in Bridlington's Old Town Historic Quarter, available to rent from Summer 2008.

This property is presented to the highest standard and offers:

1 x Double bedroom with en-suite bathroom
1 x Twin bedroom with en-suite shower room
Additional sleeping for up to 2 people can also be facilitated

Arranged over 3 floors and furnished to the highest quality, the lounge and the bedrooms have TV and DVD player, Stereo with CD Player plus FREE wireless broadband throughout. This apartment also has a separate dining room to seat 6 and a luxury fitted kitchen with integrated 5 ring burner, fan assisted oven, fridge, freezer and dishwasher.

A separate downstairs cloakroom and utility area with washing machine is included.

The enclosed south facing courtyard garden is a feature for guest's personal use.

Just a short stroll from Old Town's High Street, the historic Priory Church and Bayle Gate plus less than 20 minutes walk to the sea front, The Magpie Nest is Bridlington's best kept secret!

Weekly rates until 31st December 2011 are £400 Low to Mid Season and £500 per week High Season.
Daily rates are £60 per night Low to Mid Season and £75 per night High Season.
Based on 4 persons or less - minimum 2 night stay - price supplement for more than 4
High season is June, July, August and September.

Free adjacent on-street parking, the largest part with no restrictions.

For further information, to check availability and make a reservation
please call Roger or Martin on 01262 604828.

The new website for the accommodation can be found at:

We are proud to be part of the ongoing regeneration of the Bridlington developing historic art, food and antique quarter in OLD TOWN

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


Want a voucher express delivery?
Then call our tokenline on:
01 262 604 828
The voucher line is open from 8am to 10pm seven days per week and offers same day dispatch (ordering deadlines apply) for British Book Tokens and UK National Theatre Tokens
Alternatively, visit the token line on line! You can access the service here now:
'Vouchers Express'