Waterstones began in 1982 under the aegis of its founder, Tim Waterstone. Over the decades that have followed, we have grown to become an icon of the British cultural landscape, employing over 3000 superb booksellers across over 280 bookshops.
As the last surviving national bookshop chain, under the helmsmanship of Managing Director James Daunt, we are proud to have fought off the perceived threat of e-readers and online competition to begin a programme of active expansion. Recent years have seen fresh shops open around the country and sites either move or be upgraded. With recent openings including Reigate, Clifton and moves to far more attractive locations for our shops in Edinburgh and Manchester’s Trafford Centre, our plans continue to be ambitious.
Perhaps unusually for a national retailer, our branch managers enjoy a high degree of individual autonomy, running their shops to best please their local customers, with only the lightest of central suggested direction. We take enormous pleasure in championing simply good (but sometimes relatively overlooked) books, a principle that began most famously with John Williams’ Stoner, a quiet, intense novel that we turned into a bestseller forty years after its original publication.