These are the first pictures of the new 3,000 sq ft Blackwell’s store in Westgate Shopping Centre in Oxford.
The new outlet opened on the same day as the new shopping mall in the centre of the city, situated next to a branch of John Lewis.
The new venture is the first Blackwell's trade-focussed store for several years and is key to its growth strategy to broaden its customer base and focuses on fiction, lifestyle, children’s – to attract more families into the brand.
To that end it has a large children’s and gifting section, artificial tree in the centre of the store and a Ferris wheel in the window.
“Blackwell’s has a strong brand but we do want to be more accessible – getting more people reading books and into our shops - or visiting us online,” Dean Drew, sales and marketing director said.
Of the launch day on Tuesday (24th October), he added: “An amazing effort by the whole Blackwell's team meant we had a great opening this morning. Everything in place and working! The shop looks beautiful and our booksellers are ready to help and recommend. We have had wonderful customer feedback, all genuinely happy to see Blackwell's and book selling still thriving.”
Eight booksellers staff the shop, which is managed by Charlie Young, formerly of Waterstones in Manchester.
It has also lined up a “huge” events programme related to lifestyle, adult fiction.