Waterstones Announces Acquisition of Foyles
Waterstones is pleased today to announce its acquisition of the Foyles bookshops from the Foyle family. In addition to its Charing Cross Road flagship, Foyles has three shops in London – Royal Festival Hall, Waterloo and Westfield Stratford – and shops in Bristol, Birmingham and Chelmsford.
Founded in 1903, Foyles has developed a strong brand identity and unique bookselling ethos, and its Charing Cross Road flagship is one of the world’s most iconic bookshops. Waterstones operates a chain of 283 bookshops located across the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium. The bookseller also owns the London bookseller Hatchards, established in 1797 and the Dublin booksellers Hodges Figgis, who celebrate their 250 year anniversary this year.
James Daunt, Waterstones Managing Director said : “We are honoured to be entrusted with the Foyles business, and greatly look forward to joining forces with the Foyles bookselling team. Together, we will be stronger and better positioned to protect and champion the pleasures of real bookshops in the face of Amazon’s siren call.
It is an exciting and invigorating time in bookselling as good bookshops are rediscovering their purpose in the fight back against online and e-reading. At Waterstones, we see our future as responsible stewards of shops that strive to serve their customers each according to their own distinct personality. This is nowhere more important than with those shops – Hatchards, Hodges Figgis and now Foyles – that have such singular heritages.
The Foyles booksellers join a company that celebrates the traditional virtues of Foyles bookselling as equally as it does the illustrious history of Foyles itself. We take on this responsibility with pride and confidence and are committed to ensuring Foyles a future as bright as its past.”
Christopher Foyle said : “My family and I are delighted that Foyles is entering a new chapter, one which secures the brand’s future and protects its personality. I look forward to witnessing the exciting times ahead for the company founded by my Grandfather and his brother 115 years ago.”
The transaction is expected to complete before the year end, and the terms are not disclosed.
Waterstones is the UK and Ireland’s leading high street bookseller with 283 shops. It employs over 3,000 booksellers. Waterstones is the only national specialist book retailer of scale in the UK, with the average sized shop carrying a range of around 30,000 individual books and with over 200,000 titles in the largest shop.
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