Waterstone’s comes out on top

Waterstone’s is to emerge as the stronger bookshop brand following its proposed union with former rival Dillons as part of the HMV Media Group (DW 6 March).

Dillons stores in towns, and on university campuses, where Waterstone’s is not represented will be rebranded as Waterstone’s outlets, while several overlapping Dillons stores will close.

Fewer than 30 Dillons branded outlets, with identity and interiors by Fitch, will remain. Waterstone’s, whose identity was created by the then Newell and Sorrell, will be left with 125 high street stores and 30 college sites.

Waterstone’s is to continue the rollout of large format stores pioneered in Glasgow, using the BDG McColl-designed unit as a model. The combined group will also contain music chain HMV.

The Dillons merger with Waterstone’s, formerly part of the WH Smith group, marks the start of a period of major change in the retail sector.

WH Smith has agreed a deal to buy its newsagent rival John Menzies for 65m as part of a bid to concentrate on its core business.

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