Waterstones picks LBi for digital brief

LONDON - Waterstone's, the HMV-owned book retailer, has hired LBi to handle its digital advertising and web development account.

Waterstones...LBI appointed to handle digital advertising and web development
Waterstones...LBI appointed to handle digital advertising and web development

The agency won the business after a pitch against IBM and Javelin. It will initially redesign the

Waterstones.com website with a specific focus on design and e-commerce functions.

The contract will see LBi work with CHI & Partners, which was appointed as the retailer's above-the-line agency earlier this year.

CHI won the business in April after a four-way pitch against Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Lowe. The incumbent was St Luke's, which had held the business since 2005.

Waterstone's has seen a downturn in sales this summer, reflecting what it called a "weaker book market".

The chain reported that like-for-like sales had dropped by 1.7 per cent since April, even with the last Harry Potter book removed from the figures.

Waterstone's was bought by HMV in 1998 from WH Smith in a £300 million deal. It currently has more than 330 shops in the UK.

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