The third Foyles store outside London opened its doors in Chelmsford yesterday (29th September).
The 4,300 sq ft shop holds 15,000 titles set across two floors and has an in-store café, with a “striking” double height bookshelf and balcony on one side.
The Chelmsford branch, located in the new Bond Street retail scheme in the city centre, marks the chain’s seventh store, its first in the east of England and its third outside London after Brisyol and Birmingham.
The concept builds on the innovations introduced in its Bristol and Birmingham stores, which aim to create a "physical environment enhanced by digital technology". To this end, booksellers are equipped with iPads to help customers with information and requests in-store.
Today (30th September) author Jeffrey Archer will hold a celebratory reception to mark the opening of the new branch at 11.30am as part of a two week long festival and Martina Cole will attend the official opening of the bookshop on 15th October.
John Browne, finance director and head of real estate at Foyles, said: "Foyles is delighted to be opening in such a prestigious development in Bond Street, Chelmsford alongside so many other brands which are coming to Essex for the first time. Our store here is a real 21st century experience where technology enhances and improves our customer service without getting the way of what readers love most about bricks and mortar shopping experience. Real books are enjoying resurgence at the moment, and we have a fantastic range of lifestyle and children’s titles which we are sure will appeal to Bond Street shoppers.”
The Bond Street development comprises 250,000 sq ft of retail and leisure plus a 275-space basement car park. Foyles will be joining new retail brands to the city for the first time including John Lewis, the anchor store, occupying approximately 120,000 sq ft, Joules, Fat Face, Monsoon, White Stuff and Schuh.
Pictures: Mark Sepple