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Old 06-13-2009, 03:39 AM   #1
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UK: Travel writers urge boycott of W H Smith & Penguin

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/co...vel-guide.html

"The British Guild of Travel Writers called this week for a boycott of WH Smith over its policy on the sale of guidebooks at airports and stations."

Seems a lot of publishers are worried about this policy.
Arthur Frommer is definitely unhappy.
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Old 06-13-2009, 05:16 AM   #2
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Sounds like a case of jealosy to me. W.H. Smiths are in the business of making money. If they can do so by signing an "exclusivity" deal with Penguin for travel books, they are entirely within their rights to do so. It's not as if they are the only chain of bookshops around.
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Old 06-13-2009, 06:37 AM   #3
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Huh? What (amusingly FUD-y) nonsense.
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There was something faintly sinister about the WH Smith bookshelves when I popped into the shop at Victoria Station, London, on a lunch-break this week. Last week, there had been a colourful jumble of overseas guidebook titles of all shapes and sizes, appealing to many different types of traveller. Now there were only rows of Rough Guides and DK books.
Apparently the Rough Guides aren't published in different colours?
From what I've seen of them they aren't all that good, but that doesn't appear to be what's worrying this guy.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:52 AM   #4
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Airport and station bookstores are very small. They usually carry a fraction of the number of books at a regular store. Standardizing on one line of travel books makes sense. They may or may not have made the right choice as to which line to carry, but standardizing on one makes sense.
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:55 AM   #5
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Airport and station bookstores are very small. They usually carry a fraction of the number of books at a regular store. Standardizing on one line of travel books makes sense. They may or may not have made the right choice as to which line to carry, but standardizing on one makes sense.
and people would be more likely to buy something when they see 30 "for Dummies" books on the wall, they see, hey, that's a good series look how many there are. it makes it a trused name even if they never heard of it.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:04 AM   #6
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Another point here is that W.H. Smiths are not who one immediately thinks of when booksellers are mentioned. They are primarily stationers - most of their business is selling newpapers and magazines, writing pads, pens, sticky tape, etc. They sell books too, yes, but it's not their primary business.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:36 PM   #7
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Another point here is that W.H. Smiths are not who one immediately thinks of when booksellers are mentioned. They are primarily stationers - most of their business is selling newpapers and magazines, writing pads, pens, sticky tape, etc. They sell books too, yes, but it's not their primary business.
That surprises me - I think the people I know who aren't avid readers would say 'W H Smith' if asked to name a highstreet bookshop.

The Interim Results Statement for April 2009 seems to give books top billing in the 'Category Performance' section, and makes a big play about their expansion into the 'Travel' market:

"In Travel, improved merchandising and strong promotions, such as Deal of the Week, have helped support our books performance.We have made further progress with our specialist bookstore format, expanding our portfolio by opening 8 new units in the period, for example at Manchester and Stansted airports, bringing the total number of books only stores to 17."
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