A CITY bookshop was celebrating yesterday after Waterstones abandoned plans to open a rival outlet without using its brand name.

Golden Hare Books in Stockbridge, Edinburgh, feared the impact on custom of the shop planned by the high street giant, claiming its Stockbridge Books was a “copycat indie” and would create an “uneven playing field”.

The company already has six other stores which bare the name of their area, rather than that of Waterstones, and had pledged not to open new units near existing independent bookshops.

Golden Hare’s stance was backed by best-selling crime writer Val McDermid, amongst others.

Now chief executive James Daunt has conceded the Edinburgh move was a “mistake” and will now be clearly marked as a Waterstones branch upon opening next spring.

He told publishing trade title The Bookseller: “It has been a little bit of a case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, which can happen in large companies.

“We will now be calling it a Waterstones, it is unfortunate that we made that mistake.”

Pledging not to work in a “predatory way”, Daunt continued: “Independent book shops have their place. It’s big chains like Waterstones who need to be responsible.

“We shouldn’t cut prices or do deals to undermine independent booksellers – we all have something to offer communities.”

Marking the u-turn, Golden Hare Books thanked supporters, saying: “We are very pleased about this change in heart and hope the company learns from this mistake.”

In a Twitter statement, the company added: “Waterstones clearly did not expect such passion, frustration, love, support, lobbying and event/signing offers to arise around popping out a bookshop close to a small indie store. We will never, ever forget it.”