Waterstones closes university branches in Hull and Essex

Waterstones closes university branches in Hull and Essex

Waterstones has announced its branches at Hull University and Essex University will not reopen and are to close permanently.

The outlets were closed during lockdown and were among a number of stores that had remained shut after measures eased.

A spokeswoman for the bookseller said no staff would be made redundant from the two closures.

She said: “We are saddened to confirm that we will not be reopening either our Hull University or Essex University branches of Waterstones. There will be no redundancies from these closures; the booksellers from these teams are already supporting their local shops in our bookshops in Hull and Colchester respectively.”

The latest announcement comes after Waterstones said last week it would be making an unspecified number of redundancies at its London Piccadilly head office. It said cost-cutting measures were being taken to “align the overheads of the business to the level of sales now being achieved”.

Although online sales have improved since lockdown, the firm says sales at physical stores remain lower than before the pandemic, with city centre stores particularly struggling.

Those stores that remained temporarily shut following the lockdown were mainly university campus outlets, although branches in London's Covent Garden and Leadenhall Market have also been affected.

In June, Blackwell's also announced it would be closing five university campus branches.