The first new bookshop in 40 years has opened in Fort William, Scotland.
The Highland Bookshop was founded by Lochaber entrepreneurs Angus MacDonald and Kevin Ramage, owners of 2009 Independent Bookshop of the Year, Watermill Bookshop in Aberfeldy. The pair were inspired to set about launching the new venture after noticing that the "very busy town" had a “gap in the high street” for a bookshop.
Opened to much fanfare by author Alexander McCall Smith earlier this month, with 150 people in attendance, the shop has a wide stock of walking and outdoors related books, maps and guides as well as extensive stock across areas including fiction, Scottish, travel writing and children's books. The ground floor bookshop occupies over 120 sq metres and the upstairs, not yet in use, is "even bigger", according to the proprietors.
Ramage told The Bookseller that the first days' trade at the shop had been “fantastic”, with sales figures “surpassing [their] expectations”.
“We had 1,500 likes on Facebook before we even opened”, Ramage said. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the response and pleased by the support of the local people.”
The main wholesale supply for the shop is by Gardners, supported by Bertrams with many Scottish titles coming via Booksource and Lomond Books.
Events and author talks will be a feature of The Highland Bookshop with early visitors including Adam Nicholson talking about The Seabird's Cry.