Waterstones will open two new bookshops in Sussex later this year, with branches planned for Rustington and Hove.
Later this month Waterstones will open a bookshop at 130 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex, taking the number of Waterstones in Sussex up to 13. The bookselling chain's Hove branch at 90-91 George Street, the main high street of Hove, will open in November.
Each bookshop will be run by a team of six new and experienced booksellers, with some roles recruited locally. Both new Waterstones shops will be just over 1,000 sq ft in size and will stock a bespoke range of books, stationery and gifts.
Tim Eastwood, Waterstones Regional Manager in Sussex, said: “We are delighted to be opening two new shops in Sussex this side of Christmas. Rustington has been crying out for a bookshop and we very much hope we can establish ourselves as part of the local community there. The shops will be small, but we’ve played with the space to fit as much in as we can so that our customers can have a truly great bookshop."
The new Hove shop, which will replace card store Clintons that closed earlier this year, has been welcomed by George Street shops and local high street campaigners.
Waterstones says the Hove branch will be a welcome addition to its sister shop in Brighton and will have a large fiction and non-fiction section as well as a busy children's department.
Emma Dalton, founder of the Save George Street campaign, told local paper, the Argus, that Waterstones will bring some "healthy competition" to the street which also features W H Smith and British Bookshop & Sussex Stationers. Dalton said: “As a community we’ve been working so hard to improve the street, the look and feel of it. To have such a big and well-known store come to us is great. The response we’ve seen on social media has been phenomenal. Waterstones will add a bit of healthy competition to the street. Everyone knows Waterstones. People travel into Brighton to go there. It will bring more people here and that can only be a positive."
Eastwood added: "We are also really excited about our new shop in Hove, we see it as a welcome addition to its sister shop in Brighton and some of our most experienced booksellers will join the new team to help make it a success. Despite the shop’s size, it will have a large fiction and non-fiction section and, mindful of our friends locally, a small but well stocked children’s department.”
The openings are the latest in a string of new stores for the chain, with Waterstones opening two new branches in London's Brent Cross and Glasgow's Silverburn shopping centres in the last few months. The new 3,000 sq ft bookshop in Brent Cross opened in August, with the Silverburn branch opening its doors in September. Once Hove and Rustington open, Waterstones, including Foyles, Hatchards, Hodges Figgis and branches in Ireland, Brussels and Amsterdam, will have 294 bookshops.