Personally, I’m glad that 3 for 2 is being scrapped. It creates ‘unnatural’ buying patterns that are counter to long-term buying. I see people ignoring the best books in the stores just cos they are not included in a 3 for 2 offer. People buy cr*p instead, and develop a taste for cr*p, which ultimately destroys the higher end market… and the book industry longer-term. 3 for 2 looks good in the short term but it is fatal longer term.
The comment about marketing on the Guardian site is both naive and correct. Basically, meddling with the price of a product is one of the riskiest approaches to marketing going. Now that 3 for 2 has become common and accepted, customers will not like the change and Waterstone’s might find itself in further trouble as a consequence.
It’s tricky and certainly not an exact science. What is clear though: Waterstone’s and the high street are not gonna beat Amazon unless they make their differentiation and ‘value add’ clear and unique. It’s sad to see and watch this slow demise. Allow the cat to cling to life cos all life is valuable or put it out of its suffering. It’s an impossible moral dilemma? Only Waterstone’s can decide how they want to end it. Glory or a slow fade?