On Monday (May 14), Waterstones announced the 2019 opening of a new store in Edinburgh but it would be under the guise of ‘Stockbridge Books’, with no Waterstones branding, in an area of the city that is already served by a thriving independent bookstore. To Golden Hare books, it was an aggressive statement of intent that would see the chain masquerading as an independent bookshop, hoping to lure customers who might be otherwise put off from shopping at a chain. The announcement went against Waterstones chief executive, James Daunt’s promise in 2017 that none of these unbranded bookshops would open in locations which are already served by an independent bookstore.  So far seven have opened, mainly in affluent market towns in England. Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in 2017, he said: ‘They are very small shops in towns that had independents and very much wish they still had … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Thomas Barrett is a journalist at New Start magazine. Follow him on Twitter