Blackwell's CEO David Prescott is leaving the company effective April 7, and sales and marketing director Phil Henderson is stepping down April 6, the Bookseller reported, noting that the announcement "follows on from the acquisition of Blackwell's by Waterstones in February."
Prescott, who joined Blackwell's in 1996 as a bookseller in Nottingham and occupied many different roles at the company before being appointed CEO in 2013, commented: "Having spent over 26 years at Blackwell's, including the last 10 as CEO, I'm sure it will feel somewhat strange not to be steering the ship anymore. However, I'm delighted to leave knowing the long-term future of the company is secured with James [Daunt] and his team of booksellers coming in to support ours. Everyone in bookselling knows that Blackwell's is a special company, but it's the people who make it what it is. It's been a privilege to work alongside and to lead so many brilliant people for so long. I wish each and every one of them, past and present, the very best."
Waterstones CEO James Daunt said that Prescott "has led Blackwell's with distinction for the past 10 years, guiding the business through turbulent times. He is a bookseller of great reputation and everyone who has worked with him directly, as well as those others of us in the wider world of bookselling, owe him a great debt of gratitude. I am sure not to be alone in hoping to draw on his experience in the years ahead."
Henderson, who was appointed sales and marketing director in May 2019, joined from Asda, where he headed book buying. He said, "It's been a privilege to be part of Blackwell's, even for a relatively short time. The heritage, wonderful bookshops and online growth have all been fantastic to experience, but the most important element of Blackwell's is the people. The enthusiasm, passion and commitment of the team across the whole business to serve customers has been inspiring. I know that the fantastic bookselling skills within the business allied to that passion will mean the business continues to go from strength to strength under new ownership and I wish the team all success for the next phase of Blackwell's history."
Canadian book retailer Indigo is partnering with Good Earth Cafes Ltd. to bring the Coffeehouse experience to select bookstores across Canada. Indigo said the partnership marks the start of the company's intention "to reimagine and convert its available café spaces, with a market by market, and sometimes store by store approach, offering customers regional relevance and supporting local businesses." Stores will remain open throughout the renovations to the café spaces.
"We're excited to partner with Good Earth Coffeehouse to bring their elevated experience to our customers," said Indigo president Peter Ruis. "With aligned core values of quality, a commitment to sustainable practices, and bringing people together, it could not be a more natural fit. Good Earth prides itself in being a community coffeehouse with good food, and we're thrilled to be able to offer our customers an opportunity to enjoy the space and connect with one another while they shop with us."
Nan Eskenazi, who opened the first Good Earth Coffeehouse in 1991 in Calgary, Alb., and now operates more than 40 locations in six Canadian provinces, commented: "We are so pleased to partner with a like-minded brand, one which values community and connectedness. We believe the social interaction that takes place in our coffeehouses is valuable--as valuable as the exceptional, ethically sourced coffee and fresh food we serve."
Indigo noted that Good Earth Coffeehouse "attracts customers who want to better align their social and environmental values with a business. Both companies were founded in Canada by women, are committed to sustainability initiatives, and embrace community building and collaborating through a variety of programs, including charitable giving."
Ojibway author and Vogue fashion writer Christian Allaire won Canada Reads 2022. CBC reported that "in an emotional finale, the book he championed, the novel Five Little Indians by Michelle Good, survived the final vote." Allaire successfully presented his case for why the book, "a story about five survivors of Canada's residential school system who are struggling to heal from their trauma and rebuild their lives as adults," best fits the Canada Reads 2022 theme as the "One Book to Connect Us."
"I am happy that everyone even had the willingness to read this book. I think that's been the main struggle as this history and this experience hasn't been taught. And so to hear all your debates and to approach them with such care... it's a very, very difficult subject, especially for me to talk about," Allaire said during the Canada Reads 2022 finale.
Good, a member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, observed: "I didn't write this book primarily as an artistic endeavor. I wrote this book to expose the truth of intergenerational trauma, and how there is so little support in Canada for survivors to truly be able to heal, both on an individual level and at a community level."
Good described Allaire as "a superstar," noting: "That young man's future is in the stratosphere. He was just brilliant. And he looked so fine too in his wonderful clothes." --Robert Gray