Smith to lose up to pounds 7m in book war
Sunday 01 October 1995
The first salvoes in what promises to become a full blown and protracted price war will be fired today when WH Smith and its arch-rival Dillons, Britain's two biggest book chains, unveil big discounts on a range of current best-sellers.
The launch of the price-cutting campaigns follows the collapse last week of the 95-year- old Net Book Agreement between publishers and retailers, which guaranteed minimum prices on titles. WH Smith was one of the NBA's staunch- est supporters.
Waterstones, the high-street book chain owned by WH Smith, is offering discounts of up to a third on 19 titles, including the latest works from authors such as Salman Rush- die, Robert Harris and Martin Amis.
Dillons, the Thorn EMI subsidiary, is cutting the price of the five titles short-listed for the prestigious Booker Prize by pounds 2 from today. Both offers will run for at least a month.
On Monday, WH Smith begins discounting some 60 fiction and non-fiction titles in both hardback and paperback by up to 50 per cent.
Analysts say that WH Smith, the established leader with a 25 per cent share of the UK book market, should emerge as a winner in any drawn-out price war as it can negotiate favour- able one-off deals with publishers. However, they point out that there could be a short-term hit on profits of between pounds 5m and pounds 7m as margins on best-sellers and other titles are sacrificed in favour of increased sales. Such a shortfall would put downward pressure on current pre-tax forecasts of pounds 100m.
Books account for 27 per cent of WH Smith's retail sales in the UK and about one-third of gross profits.
By contrast, any margin pressure at Dillons would have very little impact on its Thorn EMI parent.
- 1 Games of Thrones actor Lena Headey makes emotional promise to her unborn daughter
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
iJobs Money & Business
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...
£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...
£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...