The UK’s leading high street bookseller said that sales of the Kindle ebook reader had plummeted this Christmas as a physical books market battered by ecommerce showed signs of improvement.
Waterstones said that sales of Amazon’s ebook reader had “disappeared to all intents and purposes”. The lossmaking chain of 290 bookshops had previously touted Kindle as the way to “solve the digital question” in 2012 when it launched a partnership with Amazon to sell the devices.
However, physical book sales at Waterstones rose 5 per cent in December as the company reaped the benefits of its store refurbishment programme and a relinquishing of control to local store managers who could respond to the tastes of local communities, said James Daunt, chief executive.
Foyles, the London chain of bookstores, said like-for-like sales of physical books had risen 11 per cent this Christmas. Sam Husain, chief executive, said sales of Barnes & Noble’s ebook reader the Nook were “not as impressive as one would expect them to be” and that physical book sales had outperformed ebooks.