Opinion on Bookstores

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Type Product title / description Pub Price
CommentWire
CommentWire

WHSmith: travel to the rescue once more

In the year to August 31, WHSmith grew travel sales by 22% to GBP413m, while high street sales fell by 2% to GBP939m, revealing that, although travel is performing well, the high street business is struggling. While WHSmith is not as exposed to the consumer downturn as some retailers, the intense level of competition in its core market will impact its performance going forward.

Published By Datamonitor
10 Oct 2008
CommentWire
CommentWire

WHSmith: considering Paperchase purchase

Following Borders's decision to put stationary retailer Paperchase up for sale for around GBP50 million in order to re-focus on its core category, WHSmith has demonstrated an interest. The potential purchase would be the latest of a number of acquisitions by the business as it aims to turn its fortunes around and re-define itself.

Published By Datamonitor
19 May 2008
CommentWire
CommentWire

WH Smith: sales down, profits up

For the year to August 31, 2009, pre-tax profits for WH Smith increased to GBP82m. Like-for-likes are down 5.0%, with total group sales down 1.0%. Efficient cost control and proposition enhancements will help the company survive challenging times, while focusing on core markets and exceptional growth opportunities will provide fillip to future growth.

Published By Datamonitor
15 Oct 2009
CommentWire
CommentWire

WH Smith: profits fall, Travel outlets prosper

WH Smith has reported flat group sales for the six months to February 28, 2009, with double digit sales growth in Travel outlets counterbalancing a weak performance from its High Street stores. The retailer is continuing with its withdrawal from entertainment, and is looking to Post Office integration and rebuilding its authority as a specialist to drive sales in the future.

Published By Datamonitor
24 Apr 2009
CommentWire
CommentWire

WH Smith: making savings but not sales

UK high-street retailer WH Smith reported a 6% fall in underlying sales for the seven weeks to January 21 but improved its margins by 250 basis points. The mixed results are a testament to the company's recovery plan, which has focused on achieving a more profitable product mix. Despite this progress, sales growth remains a challenge.

Published By Datamonitor
25 Jan 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

Waterstone's: time to go it alone?

The sale of Waterstone's by HMV - to its founder or to another party - looks highly probable. While at one time Waterstone's and HMV were both leading players in relatively small retail sectors reinforced by strong links between books, music and video, the synergies have now withered and separation seems to be the best way forward.

Published By Datamonitor
07 Feb 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

Waterstone's: battle for control

Tim Waterstone has acted on his long-held ambition to reacquire the Waterstone's chain of bookshops he founded, reportedly offering GBP280 million to acquire the business from HMV - with the condition that HMV does not acquire rival bookseller Ottakar's. However, HMV is keen to acquire the chain to reinvigorate its book-selling business.

Published By Datamonitor
25 Apr 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

The Works: book retailer's demise should not surprise

Discount books specialist The Works has been forced into administration after its banker HSBC pulled the plug on the 317 store business. However, this should come as no surprise; competing with retailers that offered a broader choice of titles and more convenient locations in a slow growth market, The Works's survival has looked precarious for some time.

Published By Datamonitor
04 Feb 2008
CommentWire
CommentWire

Ottakar's: margins under pressure

Ottakar's blamed heavy discounting by rivals as the company slid into a pre-tax loss of GBP4.6 million in 2005, as supermarkets offered heavy discounts on best sellers. The company has suggested better long term prospects, but with grocers gearing up for greater participation, the challenge to established specialists will intensify.

Published By Datamonitor
29 Mar 2006
CommentWire
CommentWire

Music Zone: in tune with the high street

In an increasingly competitive market, Music Zone's 3.5% rise in like-for-like sales for the five weeks to the beginning of January is impressive when compared to larger rivals HMV and Virgin. The chain's low-cost formula has enabled it to compete with grocery retailers and the business still has room to grow.

Published By Datamonitor
16 Jan 2006

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