Bye Bye Ottakars

As Galley Cat on mediabistro and Publishing News report Ottakar’s will cease to exist as a brand following the HMV merger. All of the chains stores will be rebranded as Waterstones which I find a little disappointing.

Publishers should take note, as they no doubt already have, of the almost throwaway paragraph and quote in the Publishers Publishing News piece:

For publishers, a programme of terms harmonisation is about to begin and Johnson promises one Christmas campaign across the enlarged business this year. “On terms, yes, we do expect to get a saving out of it, but what’s more important is giving publishers a more potent route to market for their books. Every supplier has terms set up with Waterstone’s or Ottakar’s, or both – we want just one terms register, which is simpler for everyone, and the sooner the better.”

A narrowing of the market yet again and what is worse I have no faith that Waterstones will be invigorated by this purchase. I really do hope it works however and wish them the best.

15 thoughts on “Bye Bye Ottakars

  1. As a book buyer all I can see coming from this is increased homogenisation, and a decrease in the number of places that stock the sort of books I like to read. Ottakars were good because there was likely to be some difference between the various stores. All Waterstons seem to be the same, and stock the same books.

  2. Am journo covering – amongst other things – the Waterstone’s/Ottakar’s merger. Have you heard anything from inside the industry about how Ottakar’s staff have taken to their now owners? Or any edicts that HMV has issued from on high? I gather the chains will be “crunched together” by Xmas – ambitious by any stretch.

  3. Not a peep yet but I suspect the whole thing will be rather brutal. In one way its for the best (At least from Waterstone’s perspective) but I agree a very ambitious target!

  4. As an ex-employee of both companies I have to say my heart has sunk mightily on behalf of Ottakars…

  5. yes it’s brutal. apparently the head offic discovered the news about the rebrand via the press, and the news that their deals and promotions were now null and void via a publisher. redundacny notices look like being a formality. a very sad end

  6. Oh dear! That Ottakar’s heard about all that through the press and publishers is awful. Typical tho. As former employee(s) of the company/ies, what would you ask the MD of Waterstone’s about the process, if you had the chance….?

  7. As a current employee of Ottakar’s, certainly in our store, we were informed of the takeover bid by our managers, and although there was interesting reading from the press, the level of communication internally was excellent. Although it is sad that Ottakar’s will become Waterstones, in reality and the long term this had to happen, or Ottakar’s would not have been able to continue trading, which would have been more devasting! Never the less, even if there is gold writing above the door, the people will remain with the same quality of friendly customer service. Perhaps Waterstone’s could learn a thing or two from the culture of Ottakar’s?

  8. Perhaps so,

    Thanks for the comment! I guess that Ottakars could not have stayed independent doesn’t make its charm any less real and thus make most people somewhat sad at its dissappearance.

    You are right though! We should look for positive changes over the coming months!

  9. save ottakars from this tragic event , i love ottakars as a child.DON’T CLOSE OTTAKARS DOWN!!!!!i hate waterstones to honest.what are we gonna do about xmas presents hey!

  10. Id just like to add, to all of you out there who like me, enjoy reading and like ottakars much more than waterstones, there is still a brilliant ottakars store open in the promenade in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

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