Blackwell’s plans expansion this year

Blackwell’s plans expansion this year

Blackwell’s plans to expand its store portfolio this year, starting with a site at Derby University.

The academic bookselling chain has snapped up the Derby campus bookshop after Waterstones announced it would vacate it and another five campus stores around the country in March.

It is the first of a wave of new expansion at Blackwell’s, which recently announced the closure of its Library Services division to focus on its bookshop and digital offering.

David Prescott, chief executive officer at Blackwell’s, told The Bookseller the chain planned to open another two to three campus stores this year. He said: “We are excited to be working with them (University of Derby) on developing services which benefit the students as well as the University and ourselves. I’m particularly pleased that we have been able to retain the bookselling skills and experience of the current bookshop team. We look forwards to welcoming them into the Blackwell’s fold.”

Blackwell’s will begin trading in the store from 1st June 2013. It currently trades from 56 sites around the UK.

Hari Punchihewa, deputy chief executive and finance director at the University of Derby, said: “Blackwell’s reputation in the academic world is second to none so we are delighted to welcome them to Derby. Having them located at the heart of our primary site affirms our ongoing commitment to provide the best possible range of services and facilities to our students.”

In March, Waterstones said it intended to close six of its 12 campus stores -Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Derby, Keele and Swansea - entering into a consultation with 28 staff but promising that it remained “committed” to the academic market in its other sites.

In April, Blackwell’s announced it would make 55 people redundant from its library services division after wrapping up that arm of its business and selling the supply contracts to Bertrams for £2.1m.