New Foyles bookshop to become biggest in London

New Foyles bookshop to become biggest in London

Foyles flagship bookshop will stock more books on the ground floor and provide easier access for customers when it moves down the road to a site almost twice its current size.

The bookseller announced its plan to move down the street to 107–109  Charing Cross Road on Monday (28th February), after Noved Investment Holdings, run by five members of the Foyle family, bought the premises currently housing St Martin’s School of Art.

It means the bookshop is upgrading from its current 40,000 sq ft of retail space to the 74,780 sq ft site, from five separate buildings to one “purpose-built bookselling space” across three floors. The new shop will stock around 200,000 titles, comparable to its existing premises.

Sam Husain, c.e.o. of Foyles, said the new shop would retain its café and gallery but would also fuse “a mix of the old and the new”. Further details about the designs, by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, are not being released.

Husain said: “The design of the new space . . . will enable each department, from art to engineering, to develop as specialist bookshops under one roof, giving customers access to the knowledgeable managers and book buyers, offering quite a distinct experience from the online book-buying experience.”

The store will not close during the transfer, which is expected to take place in two years’ time. Building work will begin at the end of 2011. US developer Hines is creating plans for a residential space above the new store, with a formal application soon to be submitted to Westminster City Council. Foyles’ current store will then be available for redevelopment.