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Waterstones & Airbnb join forces for social competition after customer is locked in a bookstore

Waterstones and Airbnb have teamed up to offer booklovers a night in a bookshop following last week’s news of a customer being rescued from the Trafalgar Square branch last Thursday evening.

The offer will allow a customer to purposefully stay overnight in Waterstones flagship branch in Piccadilly, in order to take advantage of the social media buzz created from the original story.

The stay will take place this Friday (24 October), for the 10 entrants who offer the best answer in revealing which book they would read if locked inside a bookstore overnight, and one guest.

Night school author, Richard Wiseman will be on hand to offer tips on how to get a night’s sleep, while overnight snacks and breakfast will also be provided.

Airbnb has created a special listing page for the store through which entries to be made.

Holly Clarke, project director at Airbnb, explained: “When the news broke on social media about David Willis we saw how many people would jump at the chance to spend a night surrounded by their favourite books. So we got in touch with Waterstones on Twitter to suggest they become an Airbnb host. Airbnb is all about offering unique accommodation experiences and this fits with that perfectly.”

Meanwhile, Waterstones’ retail director, Rik McShane, added: “We were overwhelmed by the support on social media for David Willis when he was unfortunately locked in our Trafalgar Square bookshop last Thursday. Amidst this however were a great many message from people exclaiming how much they would like to spend the night amidst the books they love. So, when Airbnb got in touch we leapt at the chance to give them what they asked for, with the promise that we’d let them out first thing in the morning.  As booksellers, we already know what special places bookshops are, as our ten lucky winners and their guests will discover.”

The ‘Win a Waterstones Sleepover’ project is the latest to be organised by Airbnb and follows a previous offer that took place in Australia where people could spend a night in three rooms within an Ikea store. 

Featured by The Drum