Book retailers must ready themselves for a similar digital revolution to that experienced by music retailers, said Waterstone’s managing director Gerry Johnson.
He told delegates at the Retail Week Conference that “People have strong perceptions of what a bookshop should look like. We have got slightly out of step with what consumers expect.”
He said that as consumers get used to books and content being delivered digitally, its stores must change in response. He believes that a tipping point will occur with the introduction of a multi-use digital device that drives the take up of digital books. “For anyone dealing with entertainment products, the pace of change is extraordinary. We have only got to refer to the music business to know that there will be a tipping point and [once it happens] the market will change beyond recognition within six months.