HIGH STREET chain W H Smith, the UK’s largest bookseller, has bought its way into the burgeoning Internet book market. The retailer is to pay £9.5m for Oxford-based bookshop.co.uk, an Ofex-quoted online bookseller trading as The Internet Bookshop. The company was founded five years ago by Darryl Mattocks, 35, who quit as managing director earlier this year amid a boardroom row about the company’s future. He stands to receive around £3m from the sale. Despite posting a pre-tax loss of £406,000 on sales of over £2m last year, bookshop.co.uk presents WHS with a ready-made operational sales presence on the Internet, complete with a range of titles including 400,000 from the US. To the chagrin of retail bookshops, the US titles are already selling on the Net at up to 45% below high street prices. WHS will compete in an increasingly cut-throat UK online books market, recently invaded by Amazon, the US online books giant which claims to be the world’s largest.
© Copyright 2017
All rights reserved including database rights. This electronic file is for the personal use of authorised users based at the subscribing company's office location. It may not be reproduced, posted on intranets, extranets or the internet, e-mailed, archived or shared electronically either within the purchaser's organisation or externally without express written permission from WARC.