Booktrade.info provided a link to some interesting correspondence in the Guardian, in response to comments made by Simon Jenkins. This shows that at least a few people who work in bookselling are aware of what a crazy business it is. Not so much a business, in fact, as a way of life. One which is increasingly difficult to sustain.
Non-UK readers will need to know that the Net Book Agreement, referred to in the Guardian letters, was an arrangement whereby no retailer could sell a book at anything less than the price fixed by the publisher. Hence there was no discounting. This quaint old English custom was abandoned in 1995.