Eastleigh and St Neots Waterstones to close

Eastleigh and St Neots Waterstones to close

Waterstones is set to close two shops in its estate after failing to renegotiate the leases.

The Eastleigh and St Neots branches will close next month.

Both stores were small and took less than £500,000 in annual revenue and it is expected that the booksellers working there will be redeployed to other nearby Waterstones stores.

Other Waterstones stores to close recently include a branch in Huddersfield also due to failed rent negotiations, and one in Liverpool which was half a mile away from the other branch.

New locations the company has opened in include Ringwood, Lewes and Southwold and next month a new Hatchards will open in St Pancras.

Waterstones’ managing director James Daunt said: “With much regret we can confirm that Waterstones is to close its shop within Barretts of St Neots when the lease ends on the 15th of August. Unfortunately the rent was simply one we could not afford and was in fact, as measured by rent as a percentage of sales, the second most expensive shop in our whole estate. We will look to open in another location as soon as possible as our customer base has been exceptionally loyal and there is a very healthy market for books in St Neots.’"

The company has also hired a new head of events and external relations, Sandra Taylor, currently digital publicity director at Macmillan.

Rik McShane, Watestones retail director, said: “With the fantastic work she has done with recent publicity campaigns for the likes of Burial Rites and The Miniaturist, I’m sure she’s going to add some excitement to our already established events and festivals programme.”

Taylor is expected to join the company by the autumn.