Waterstones is to embark on a store expansion plan, opening a succession of new stores across the UK, including a three-storey shop in Tottenham Court Road which will open in October.
The newest addition will take up 7,000 sq ft, containing a bar as well as a Café W, making it the largest Waterstones to open in the capital for six years (when the bookseller opened its Oxford Street Plaza branch). It is understood that the new store will stock around 25,000 titles.
Luke Taylor, Waterstones’ Regional Manager for London, has hopes to see the Tottenham Court Road branch become “one of the city’s best bookshops”.
1 in 40 adults in Britain were gifted a Kindle for Christmas 2011 according to YouGov, but in December last year, Waterstones announced that it had seen a decline in e-reader sales over the Christmas period as readers returned to physical books.
James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstones said that the refurbishment of 290 of its UK stores was responsible for the print book’s 5% popularity rise over Christmas last year, rather than an irreversible change in consumer behaviour.
Foyles bookshop also experienced the same phenomenon in December 2014.
Director Sam Husain said that while online sales were important for booksellers, “there is nothing like people actually browsing in-store”.