LS Travel Retail will open the first Watermark Bookstore in Europe at the new Kings Cross redevelopment site.
The company - a subsidiary of LS travel retail EMEA which is a division of the Lagardère Services group - currently operates two Watermark bookshops at airports in Australia and four in North America, and believes the King’s Cross store it can make a “step change” in bookselling in travel locations. The King’s Cross Watermark Bookstore will be 100 sqm and is designed to be a “UK-specific interpretation of LS travel retail’s Watermark Bookstore concept” - which was originally adapted specifically to the travel retail market at Sydney Airport.
Fin Casey, managing director of LS travel retail UK & Ireland, said: “We are always keen to bring new experiences to the travel retail market and are especially excited to launch our proven Watermark Bookstore concept into Europe for the first time. The new Watermark Bookstore will be adapted from the successful store concept operated by our sister companies in the Pacific and North America, and we are confident that it will set a new benchmark experience for the category.”
Gavin McKechnie, head of retail, Network Rail, said: “The Watermark Bookstore concept brings a new approach to book retailing that aligns well with the new and transformed King’s Cross station experience that we are creating for our passengers, with shopping that’s on the way, not in the way. The new retail and dining mix will be one of the best at a British station, which is great news for passengers and will complement the increased capacity and better facilities which will also be available.”
Network Rail signed the agreement with LS Travel Retail, which will see the current railway destination extended through a new western concourse, three times the size of the current concourse area, hoped to be completed this summer.
This morning, the company, which also owns publisher Hachette, reported net sales were down to €7.6bn (£6.3bn) to the end of 2011, a 3.9% drop.
Lagardère Services operates nearly 2,000 travel retail stores across the world, including a presence at over 120 airports and 700 stations. LS travel retail UK & Ireland currently operates tax and duty free and specialty stores in the international airports in London Luton, London City, Glasgow and Belfast as well as on board four vessels in the Irish Ferries fleet.