Founded in 1982, Waterstones is the UK's leading high street bookseller with nearly 300 stores across the country. Known for its vast selection of books spanning every genre, Waterstones also offers stationery, gifts, and games.
The extensive range coupled with knowledgeable booksellers makes Waterstones a go-to destination for book lovers. Over the years, it has become renowned for its seasonal sales when shoppers can grab great deals on bestselling titles, stationery, gifts, and more.
Waterstones runs sales events throughout the year, especially around holiday seasons like Christmas and Easter. The sales draw in deal-seekers and book enthusiasts looking to stock up on reading materials at discounted prices. Avid readers can discover new titles to add to their never-ending ‘to read' list.
Waterstones Sale Dates in 2024
|New Year Sale
|Start the year with deals on bestselling fiction, non-fiction, children's titles and more
|Valentine's Day Sale
|Romantic reads, poetry, stationery, and small gifts for your loved one
|Half Term Sale
|Kids books, activity sets, games, and stationery for half term
|World Book Day Sale
|Special prices on selected children's books around World Book Day
|Mother's Day Sale
|Books, luxury stationery, gifts for the special mother figures
|Discount on kids titles, cookbooks and gifts in the Easter sale
|May & November
|Biannual sales on gifts, stationery, games, and more
|Father's Day Sale
|Books, stationery, and small gifts for fathers and father figures
|July to August
|Deep discounts on fiction, non-fiction, children's, gifts, and more
|Back to School Sale
|Deals on kids books, stationery, and study guides before school reopens
|Black Friday Sale
|Storewide deals on books, gifts, and stationery for Black Friday weekend
|Massive discounts in the run up to Christmas across all categories
Popular Sale Events at Waterstones
- The much-awaited Summer Sale runs through July and August every year. Shoppers can expect up to half price off on a vast range of fiction and non-fiction reads.
- From bestselling new releases, modern classics to children's titles – everything sees deep cuts in prices. The sale usually lasts 4-6 weeks allowing book lovers to take their time and grab some amazing deals.
- The Christmas Sale is undoubtedly the biggest sale event of the year at Waterstones. Starting from early December, festive deals last right up till Christmas Eve.
- Shoppers can save 30-50% on books, boxsets, stationery, games, gifts, and more. Prices are slashed on the year's popular titles and previous bestsellers. Limited edition specials with special covers and exclusive content also go on sale.
- Post-Christmas, clearance sales offer even bigger savings on books, stationery, and small gifts. Discounts typically range from 50-90% making it the best time to shop for next year's birthday or Christmas presents.
Other Discount Offers
Apart from the seasonal sales, Waterstones runs year-round offers through their email newsletter and website.
Some ongoing promotions to look out for are:
- Multibuys – Buy 2 books and get 25% off, Buy 3 for 30% off and similar deals on books, stationery, gifts etc.
- Bundle Deals – Save on special themed bundles like cookbook sets, children's series, boxsets of novels etc.
- Flash Sales – Time-limited lightning deals on select items.
- Clearance section – Heavily discounted items including publisher overstocks.
- Student & Teacher Discounts – 10% off for students and teachers (terms apply).
Special discounts are also offered around occasions like World Book Day, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Halloween etc.
Waterstones's Product Range:
Waterstones aims to be a one-stop shop for all things books and reading. The extensive product selection includes:
Over 30,000 books across genres like literary fiction, crime, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, romance, graphic novels, poetry etc. Categories include:
- Fiction & Literature – From modern bestsellers to classics and lesser-known indie titles.
- Non-Fiction – Spanning categories like history, science, food & drink, sport, travel, biography and more.
- Children's Books – Books for all ages from board books for babies to young adult fiction. Licensed characters, educational books and more.
- Audio Books – Unabridged recordings of bestsellers and classics. Digital, CD and cassette formats.
- Box Sets – Collections of novels, trilogies, and series at discounted bundle prices.
- Special Editions – Unique limited run editions of popular books and exclusives.
Stationery & Paper Goods
- Notebooks & Journals – From basic pads to luxury leather-bound journals
- Pens, Pencils & Markers – Top brands offering quality writing instruments
- Planners & Diaries – Yearly, monthly and weekly planners in different designs
- Cards & Wrap – Greeting cards for all occasions, gift wrap, bags, tags
- Art Supplies – Sketch pads, paints, brushes, canvas etc for artists
- Office Supplies – Files, folders, adhesives, mailing supplies etc
Gifts & Homeware
- Bags, Purses & Wallets – Book and library themed bags and accessories
- Mugs & Drinkware – Quirky mugs, glasses, flasks, bottle openers etc
- Home Accessories – Cushions, photo frames, candles, lamps and more
This wide range coupled with special services like personalised book recommendations and gift wrapping makes Waterstones the go-to gift shop for book lovers.
Shopping at Waterstones
Waterstones makes book buying quick and convenient through multiple purchase channels:
In-Store With nearly 300 stores, Waterstones has a presence in most major towns making it easy to visit a store. Booksellers provide personalised recommendations if you need help finding your next read. Self-checkout counters enable quick purchases.
Online Waterstones.com offers the full in-store range for online orders. Create an account to save payment information and view order history. Books and small items qualify for free standard delivery. Larger items may have shipping costs.
Click & Collect Order online and pick up from your nearest store for free. This allows you to avoid delivery waits. Simply present the order confirmation at collection.
Gift Cards Waterstones gift cards make great presents for book lovers. Available online or in-store in various denominations. Gift cards can be redeemed on books, stationery and other items sold at Waterstones, both online and in stores.
So visit a store or go online to Waterstones and explore their extensive range of books, stationery, gifts and more. Use the sales events and offers to save on new reads and gifting needs!
Waterstones is the largest specialist book retailer in Europe today. But its origins date back to 1982 when Tim Waterstone opened the first store on Old Brompton Road in London. With a £6000 redundancy payout after being let go from WHSmith, Tim spotted a gap in the market for a bookshop chain that offered late hours. The store's innovative format focusing on range rather than discounts proved popular.
Rapid expansion followed through the 80s and 90s until Waterstones dominated the UK bookselling landscape. In 1998, the chain was acquired by music retailer HMV Media for £300 million. Tim Waterstone exited the company at this point. Following turbulent years with losses and closures of unprofitable stores, Waterstones was sold in 2011 to Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut.
With Mamut's backing, James Daunt, founder of the independent bookstore chain Daunt Books, took over as Managing Director to steer the revival of Waterstones. An emphasis on traditional bookselling, range, and bookseller autonomy has helped Waterstones strengthen its position in the market even as readers move online. Waterstones continues its commitment to the high street bookshop despite economic pressures.