Waterstones confirms reprieve for Exeter High Street branch

Waterstones confirms reprieve for Exeter High Street branch

Waterstones has confirmed its Exeter High Street branch will remain open "until further notice" after news The Ivy has dropped plans to turn the bookshop into a new restaurant and bar.

In May 2017 the bookshop chain said it was preparing to close its store on Exeter High Street to accomodate a new branch of The Ivy restaurant in the area.

With a second Exeter branch in very close proximity, its plan had been to transfer booksellers working at the store on Exeter High Street to its Exeter Roman Gate branch and simultaneously invest in a refit of the latter. At the time a spokesperson said the chain had enjoyed "great success" with such a strategy, with "the single, smartened up shop selling more than the two had done".

To progress the plans for The Ivy, a planning application was made by Troia Restaurants to the Exeter City Council earlier this year, in January 2018, proposing the change of use for 19-21 Cathedral Yard, with the intention of using the building currently occupied by Waterstones Exeter High Street. However, according to local news outlet Devon Live, these plans were rejected and the closure of the Waterstones branch has now been stalled.

A spokesperson for Waterstones told The Bookseller: "Waterstones on Exeter High Street will continue trading from its current premises until further notice."

The refit of Waterstones' Roman Gate shop was meanwhile completed last autumn.