Nine UK branches of the high street book retailer Waterstone’s are set to close this weekend along with two more in Dublin, it has been confirmed.
Most of the stores set to disappear are situated either just north of London or in the West Midlands of England, as the retailer’s owner HMV Group tries to cut costs following disappointing trading in 2010.
The English stores to close are in Chelmsford, Colchester, Luton, Hemel Hempstead, Coventry, Stafford, Worcester, Tiverton and Guildford.
HMV Group announced at the beginning of the year that 60 outlets in it portfolio were to close and this weekend’s shutdown represents the Waterstone’s section of that total.
Sales have been improving at the bookseller since significant management changes last year but like-for-like trading at the business still fell 2.1 per cent year-on-year during the final ten weeks 2010.
Commenting at the time, HMV Group CEO Simon Fox said: “Progress at Waterstone’s this year has been pleasing, and we remain on track to meet our business and financial objectives for the end of the first year of our turnaround programme.”