Blackwell's drops click and collect in almost all stores as lockdown hits

Blackwell's drops click and collect in almost all stores as lockdown hits

Blackwell's is the latest bookseller to announce it has closed its stores during the new lockdown and will not be offering click and collect, with the exception of its Oxford branch.

Yesterday (5th January) Waterstones annnounced it was shuttering all its branches temporarily and furloughing staff, aside from some at some larger stores which will help with website fulfilment.

Blackwell's c.e.o. David Prescott has now confirmed his chain is taking a similar approach, closing stores and furloughing affected staff.

He told The Bookseller: “We will offer click and collect from Oxford Broad Street as we have people on site picking to fulfill website orders.

“We also have two campus branches where they have book bundles which we can’t get to the students in any other way – so there will be a very limited short-term service just to allow students to safely collect those bundles. Otherwise, all shops closed and no click and collect service.”

Although click and collect is allowed under current lockdown guidelines and provided an important source of income for booksellers in recent months, Waterstones m.d. James Daunt said it was not the right approach when the public is being urged to stay at home.

Indies are also divided on how useful it will be this time around, with some ditching the policy to focus on home deliveries instead.

Last summer Blackwell's announced the closure of five campus branches owing to Covid-19's impact on its business, leaving the chain with 23 stores.