Ian Jindal

Leadership and transformation in multichannel retail and eCommerce

RetailCraft Podcast #46 – ”Really Different” – in conversation Kieron Smith, Digital Director of Blackwells, and Wordery

Our studio chat with Kieron (Digital Director at Blackwells, part of the Waterstones group of booksellers) had a number of firsts… Not only the first podcast of 2024 (Happy New Year to one and all!) but also the first time that Georgia and I had been given gifts. In our prep for the studio session Kieron had asked us what were the last three books we’d read. He used this to predict a book for each of us and wrapped them for us to give in the studio! Utterly thoughtful, but more importantly gets to the heart of Kieron’s focus upon data AND intuition.

In our conversation we talk about the history of Blackwells (surely one of the most famous longstanding and academic booksellers, now a part of the Waterstones group) and some of the dynamics of the book trade online. We discuss learning and the ongoing quest for information and knowledge, and the vital role of staff in retail. This is the origin of the “really different” of our title – how to engage staff with knowledge, skills, passion and individuality rather than falling into the trap of homogeneity.

There is so much to learn here about individuality, passion and invention in retail – our thanks to Kieron for being so open with us.


Run time: 53 minutes


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Blackwells (https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/home) is part of the Waterstones (https://www.waterstones.com/) group.

Kieron’s offered books were:

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Kieron Smith: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kieron/

Georgia Scott: https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgiajones1/ 

Ian Jindal: www.linkedin.com/in/ianjindal/   and www.twitter.com/ianjindal 

[ 🎙️📷 ]Recorded and engineered at Spiritland Studios, UK.

Episode photo credit: Ian Jindal ( www.instagram.com/ianjindal )