3-for-2 no more ... Waterstone's longstanding offer has been withdrawn. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian
High-street chain abandons influential sales promotion after a decade.
By Alison Flood
Waterstone’s, Britain’s biggest bookseller, is ending its long running three-for-two promotion, which has been a key plank in the company’s marketing effort for more than a decade.
The decision follows the sale of the chain to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut, and the appointment of independent bookseller James Daunt as managing director in June.
Daunt, owner of the seven-store chain Daunt Books, had previously said the three-for-two deal “goes completely against the grain of how I like buying books”, telling the Bookseller magazine in May – before his new role at Waterstone’s was announced – that “we don’t despoil our books by putting stickers on them. We don’t use price as a marketing tool.”
The 296-store Waterstone’s business is now said to be looking at introducing money-off deals for individual books from September, instead of the blanket three-for-two, either pricing campaign books at £5, or introducing a “staggered” offer for paperbacks at £3, £5 and £7.
The news was greeted positively by a book trade that has largely welcomed the change to Waterstone’s ownership.