In its latest set of financial results, Waterstones reported that in the year to 25th April 2009, both total and like-for-like sales fell by 3.8%, with full-year sales now likely to be about £543m, compared with £564.3m a year earlier.
In the 16 weeks to 25th April total sales at the book retailer fell by 3.4% and by 4.5% on a like-for-like basis. The trend therefore continues.
One customer reports today:
I have just been into my local branch of Waterstones in Colchester High Street. There was one member of staff serving on the two floors. The were 5 people waiting in a line with purchases. One gave up and put a book back on the shelf. There was no other member of staff anywhere to be seen. I was there to drop in a DVD sample we have made with a view to selling it in. I walked all round the store to see if other staff members were there. None to be found. After about 10 minutes another staff member came to the sales desk. If this is what Waterstone's have / are coming to then the company has a shortened shelf life.