Two new campus bookshops for John Smith

Two new campus bookshops for John Smith

John Smith & Son is to open two new campus bookshops in time for the new academic season next month.

The first is at Birmingham University (150 square metres) and the second at The University of Swansea (125 square metres). Both are former Waterstones sites. The two new additions to the John Smith store portfolio will bring the company's overall tally of bookshops in the UK to 27.

Peter Lake, group business development director at John Smith's, told The Bookseller: "Both universities have worked with us on the new opening of the shops. Both wanted to see a bookshop on their campuses but with a range of goods, so we will be offering a range of goods and services, with a lot more technology products. Tablets are our bestselling IT products at the moment, with the Samsung tablet the most popular, followed by Apple's iPad. Technology products have become increasingly popular with out customers and we would only expect that to continue."

The Swansea store will employ three full-time staff members plus one seasonal staffer, and will be situated in the former Waterstones site at first before moving to a better location on the campus later in the year. The Birmingham store will employ four full time members of staff and one seasonal part-time employee.

Earlier this week, John Smith reported that overall revenue increased by 19% to £24.9m in the 12 months to May 2013, driven by "good take-up" of the company's cashless bursary management platform, Aspire, at universities in the UK and Africa. That figure was up 5% from last year. However, the chain's chairman and c.e.o. Peter Gray also warned that there is "overwhelming evidence that the traditional bookstore model is not sustainable".