Waterstone's Kennedy buys indie in Ealing

Waterstone's Kennedy buys indie in Ealing

Former Waterstone’s head of range Fiona Kennedy has set up a bookshop in Ealing in west London after a “serendipity moment” led her to fulfill a lifelong dream.

Kennedy left Waterstone's in April and had been planning her next move when Pitshanger Bookshop owners Walter and Bee Wyeth put the shop up for sale. She said: “It always has been one of my ambitions to have one of my own bookshops and when the nearest bookshop to my house came up for sale it was like one of those serendipity moments—I just thought it was meant to be.”

Kennedy said running the shop would be a “learning curve” and she was currently concentrating on deciphering the customers’ tastes in books before reviewing the range. She said: "At the moment my priority is to get the bookshop trading well through Christmas, not all the books for autumn have been bought yet so I will be getting that done and I am looking to put a new Epos system in."

She also intends to revamp the website and join books wholesaler Gardners’ indie-friendly bookselling site Hive.

The shop, in Pitshanger Lane, is 1,000 sq ft and stocks fiction and children’s books at the front with non-fiction at the back.  The Wyeth couple had owned it for 18 years and also own the nearby The Owl and the Pussycat bookshop.

Kennedy said the shop had been making a profit when she bought it and is valued among the local community. She said: “Residents really seem to support the row of shops around here."