Waterstones boss savages Amazon's culture

The head of book seller Waterstones has hit out at Amazon, saying that despite the online retailer's dominance it's not a company that's focused on the consumer - even going so far as to call it an "enemy" of its customer base.

The future of the long time book seller has been a little uncertain throughout 2011. It was bought by Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut in May, with a new manager director brought in from Daunt Books. This man, James Daunt, is the one who's been trash talking Amazon, demonising it and saying the key to keeping book stores like Waterstones relevant is to allow "the booksellers [to] decide how to curate their own stock."

Amazon has of course been aggressively moving in on the book shop game, by moving its own sales towards the digital side of the spectrum. The Independent reports that Mr Daunt is keen to embrace this new branch too, saying that it can become part of the make up of a contemporary book store.

"You'll walk into a Waterstone's and there will be a bit of the shop where you can look at eReaders, play with them." He also said that the company liked the Barnes and Noble approach, bringing its own ebook reader into the store - though it seems he was particularly pleased that it had been "taking market share from the Kindle."

Despite this move to modernise Waterstones, Mr Daunt was still keen to encourage people to come in-store, saying that "the computer screen is a terrible environment in which to select books."