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Watermark lands at King's Cross
20.03.12 | Lisa Campbell
The first Watermark bookshop in Europe has opened in the new London King's Cross concourse with 7,000 books available for sale across the 1,100 sq ft shop.
Former Waterstones Islington manager Farah Taylor has taken charge of the shop as its manager and buyer and has employed 10 staff, who are all "from the book trade and passionate about books". Taylor said: "We have front list and bestselling titles at the front of the store for travellers wanting to come in and pick up a book quickly before they catch a train, and there is more range titles in the second part of the shop for people who have more time to browse."
The store is situated next to 'Platform 9 ¾' – a reference to JK Rowling's Harry Potter books and sits between the fictional platform and a 'Harry Potter' experience shop, which has yet to be built.
Watermark hopes to open to 35 Watermark stores at airport and railways locations in the country. Fin Casey, managing director of parent company LS travel retail UK & Ireland, said: "We wanted the shop to look both attractive and modern, but have the feel of a bookshop people would want to stay and browse in." Watermark was launched five years ago in Australia. Casey added he was "delighted" to be open right next door to the Platform 9 ¾ tourist attraction and said shoppers had been queuing up to have their photos taken and then coming into the shop. The bookshop also has a Harry Potter window display.
The shop has partnered with wholesaler Gardners to offer a range of five million titles customers can order from the shop, and 200,000 e-books customers can buy through the wholesaler's online e-commerce platform Hive.