Waterstones: Good times are back for Irish book sales

The CEO of retailer Waterstones said yesterday that book sales are enjoying a rejuvenation and “it is happy times for booksellers”.

Speaking on World Book Day, James Daunt said sales at the Irish business of Waterstones continue to strengthen “and sales have gone up a few notches recently and we are making a reasonable amount of money to be able to re-invest in the business.”

Mr Daunt said the company’s Cork store “is doing brilliantly”. However, he said disruption caused by the Luas works on Dawson St in Dublin has “been a nightmare” for the firm’s flagship Hodges Figgis store.

He said that, overall, the firm’s Irish shops “are in a happy place”. In the 12 months to the end of April, Waterstones Ireland doubled its profits to €1.9m as revenues increased by 7% to €14.2m. Mr Daunt said the firm is to reinvest.

He said: “We are just beginning to look at properties and any expansion will be a local initiative.”

Asked to comment on Irish author Donal Ryan’s decision to return to a public sector job after being unable to sustain a living as a full-time writer, Mr Daunt said: “It has always been a tough world trying to make a living from being a writer.”

Mr Daunt said correlation between great reviews and sales “is not precise, same can be said for books that receive dreadful reviews and go on to enjoy great sales”.


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