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Old 01-07-2015, 05:48 AM   #1
Lin2412
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Kindle sales have 'disappeared', says UK's largest book retailer

Amazon launched the Kindle, which is now in its seventh generation, in 2007. Sales peaked in 2011 at around 13.44m


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Waterstones has admitted that sales of Amazon's Kindle ebook reader had "disappeared" after seeing higher demand for physical books.

The UK's largest book retailing chain, which teamed up with Amazon in 2012 to sell the Kindle in its stores, saw sales of physical books rise 5pc in December, at the expense of the popular e-reader.

Kindle sales had “disappeared to all intents and purposes”, Waterstones said.
James Daunt, chief executive, told the Financial Times that the resurgence in popularity of hardback and paperback books was due to Waterstones refurbishing some of its 290 shops.

Head office also handed more control over what stores sold to the managers running them, so they could cater their stock to local tastes.
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Amazon launched the Kindle, which is now in its seventh generation, in 2007. Sales peaked in 2011 at around 13.44m, accoding to Forbes. That figure fell to 9.7m in 2012, with sales flat the following year. It is estimated that Amazon has sold around 30m Kindles in total.

At the same time, British consumers spent £2.2bn on print in 2013, compared with just £300m on ebooks, according to Nielsen.

US book giant Barnes & Noble is looking to spin off its Nook ereader business, which is estimated to be losing $70m a year. Meanwhile, core sales, excluding Nook, rose 5pc in the most recent quarter.
(original article)

Last edited by pdurrant; 01-07-2015 at 09:45 AM. Reason: telegraph linked
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:10 AM   #2
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It's not surprising. People who go to Waterstones go to buy a physical book, not buy an ereader. I'm constantly surprised that so few people even glance at the Kindle displays in Waterstones. It's not like they're even hidden away either, and people hardly show any interest. The fact that so many Waterstones have been refurbished has also helped their core product, physical books, as the more pleasant environment entices people into the shop, and lets them browse in comfortable surroundings. The selection of titles in even the smaller shops if pretty comprehensive, unlike what I have been hearing of Barnes and Noble in recent years. All in all, along with the other retailing improvements, is it any surprise that physical books have been doing better while the kindles are ignored? The answer is no. The fact that Daunt has turned an ailing chain around and is set to lead it into the black for the first time in years shows that when smart business sense is applied, even something as apparently as dead as a brick and mortar bookshop actually has more life in it that most people thought.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:18 AM   #3
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How many Kindle ereaders were ever sold at Waterstones in the first place? A fairly low number I'd imagine since most people will buy direct from Amazon, or from places like Tesco & Argos where they quite often ran deals. Waterstones would have been the last place I'd have looked to buy a Kindle from.

Like Waylander says, most people go to Waterstones to buy physical books.

Seems a bit like a garage that also stocks cycling clothes coming out with a press release saying, looks cars are really still popular we've hardly sold any cycling gear whereas loads of people still come to us for car parts?
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:19 AM   #4
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not at all surprising but for vastly different reasons. anyone only needs ONE kindle/kobo/nook to read HUNDREDS of books, so inherently there's far less demand for a device to read books than for the books themselves.

as to the amount spent in 2013 (2.2bn versus 300m), again no surprise. ebooks are anywhere from FREE to 1.99 to 4.99 and sometimes as high as 39.99 - but you'll NEVER see a FREE book in a book store, or a 1.99 book in a book store. paper books are more expensive to begin with so the sales of them should be higher - especially when even at the same price, most people would buy a real book than an ebook since the real book CAN be sold, lent to a friend, kept forever without fear of being deleted, etc.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:26 AM   #5
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The article that the link leads to is not the same as that from which the top quote comes from. Where is the article quoted from?
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:52 AM   #6
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From a "B&M book stores can survive" standpoint, it's a great story. From a "See ... physical books aren't going away soon" standpoint, it's a bit--well ... duh.

"Store that retools to help encourage the sale of physical books, does in fact sell less ereading devices (and more pbooks). Film at eleven."
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
"Store that retools to help encourage the sale of physical books, does in fact sell less ereading devices (and more pbooks). Film at eleven."
it's barely 7am. DON'T KEEP ME IN SUSPENSE!!!
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:06 AM   #8
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There is, of course, a lot more choice when it comes to ebook reading devices. When kindles first came out, you had a choice between the kindle and Sony's PRS-500. Now people read on their tablets, smart phones, etc.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waylander View Post
The article that the link leads to is not the same as that from which the top quote comes from. Where is the article quoted from?
I'd also like to see some more context:
Like, when does the Kindle deal expire?
Or how were the readers featured at the stores before and after the redecorating?
What were Kindle prices like? Were they matching the online sales?

And actual sales numbers over time might be helpful: did they go from hundreds
a day per store to none or from ten a day to once a week?

The linked article is quoting Tim Waterstones who has minimal involvement with the stores, if I remember correctly, and is no fan of ebooks.

Historically, ereader sales in bookstores have never bern terribly good.
Kobo sales in allied US bookstores were quoted as single digits per store per day and before that Borders never did all that well either; not with Sony or with Kobo.

There might be some spin involved especially if the contract is expiring.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:42 AM   #10
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Fair point. If Waterstones is about to end the deal with Amazon, then why not put the knife in? It makes sense. I find it odd that the store would publicize such a statement with a company they are in partnership with. It certainly sounds like there is an agenda.

Correction: As you say, the source of the statement has little connection with the stores. Maybe he's just a loose cannon.
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:53 AM   #11
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Here is a link to the original article.

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/other/...ler/ar-BBhBuHZ
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulfuldog View Post
How many Kindle ereaders were ever sold at Waterstones in the first place? A fairly low number I'd imagine since most people will buy direct from Amazon, or from places like Tesco & Argos where they quite often ran deals. Waterstones would have been the last place I'd have looked to buy a Kindle from.

Like Waylander says, most people go to Waterstones to buy physical books.

Seems a bit like a garage that also stocks cycling clothes coming out with a press release saying, looks cars are really still popular we've hardly sold any cycling gear whereas loads of people still come to us for car parts?
Exactly.

Does the Telegraph always just regurgitate everything it is fed without adding any perspective or critical thinking?
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:54 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by j.p.s View Post
Exactly.

Does the Telegraph always just regurgitate everything it is fed without adding any perspective or critical thinking?
Why should they be any different than the rest of big media?
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
"Store that retools to help encourage the sale of physical books, does in fact sell less ereading devices (and more pbooks). Film at eleven."
Yes...and no. Were kindle readers still in demand, they should still sell. Amazon will never release numbers and I doubt they will even release "numberless graphs" that they used to show. Cuz sales are down. Can't prove it. But it's fairly obvious that tablets and smartphones have taken all the steam out of the eInk market.

The "people buy their Kindles from Amazon" also doesn't hold water. Watersons USED to sell a lot of kindles...now they sell almost none even though they are still offered. That speaks SOME to the fate of eInk readers.

So does Sony getting out of the business and all the many other clear signs that the eInk reader market has seen it's day in the sun. They may not yet be in the VCR player category just yet, but it's a foregone conclusion.

That the book store has revamped itself and revived the selling of physical books is not directly related to the slow down in sales of kindle readers. That surely falls into you "they worked to sell more pb and they did, fill at 11"
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Old 01-07-2015, 01:03 PM   #15
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That the book store has revamped itself and revived the selling of physical books is not directly related to the slow down in sales of kindle readers. That surely falls into you "they worked to sell more pb and they did, fill at 11"
I'm pretty sure that's exactly what I said. Thanks for the back up.

My point was that it's not very surprising that a store that "revamped itself and revived the selling of physical books" actually sold more physical books. That they sold less Kindles is immaterial. I'm happy that a B&M chain has found a way to keep themselves afloat--and perhaps even thrive--in an era where many B&M stores are struggling.

It is also my contention that Kindle sales volumes (or any dedicated reading device for that matter) are becoming less and less of an indicator of how pbooks are selling in relation to ebooks--because of the the things you mentioned like tablets and phones.

"We sold more pbooks and almost no Kindles" just doesn't have the impact whoever was being quoted wanted it to have. It's a bit apples and oranges. Like you said; "plummeting" Kindle sales speaks more to the state of the current eink market than it does to how well pbooks are holding up to ebooks (or vice versa).

The story should have been Waterstones' revitalization. Period. It's a good story. No need to junk it up with irrelevant Kindle sales hooey.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 01-07-2015 at 02:03 PM.
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