A vastly expanded, “lighter, brighter” Hatchards branch opened its doors at King’s Cross St Pancras Station yesterday (August 8th).
The old store has gone and staff have relocated to a new premises next to John Lewis at the busy London hub. With a space of around 3,000 sq ft, the branch is a third larger than its predecessor, allowing the shop to expand its stock of books. Six more booksellers have also joined the existing team.
Opening at 7.30am, the first 50 customers were handed a free copy of Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit. Later, children’s writer and illustrator Benji Davies (below) performed the official ribbon-cutting with store manager Sam Jarvis.
Jarvis said the opening morning’s trade had been brisk and the response from customers was “fantastic”. He said: “It seems like customers are really delighted to have us back and even better than before.
“There are around 30% more books here now and the space is lighter, brighter and just a nicer place to be in for everyone.”
Hatchards is the only dedicated bookshop at the station, home to Eurostar and a number of high-end stores, restaurants and bars.
Jarvis said the Hatchards brand, with a history going back to 1797 and customers including the Royal household, was a perfect fit for the station and its travellers.
He said: “It’s about the heritage of the area and the bespoke retail offering that St Pancras has become known for. The level of service we offer is top of the range and that goes a long way towards meeting St Pancras’ vision.”
The celebrations continued yesterday with Davies reading from his book Tad (HarperCollins Children’s) for youngsters at the station. Later, customers were given glasses of wine to drink as they browsed the shelves and chatted to staff.