Waterstones is to open two new bookshops in Westfield London and Wokingham.
Both shops will be open in time for Christmas trading with the Westfield London branch opening in December, whilst the Wokingham shop will open next month. The latest openings will bring Waterstones' total estate to 285 shops.
“At a grim time for retailers, it is especially welcoming to be opening shops,” said m.d. James Daunt. “These two are about as different to each other as bookshops can be, each aiming to become a real asset within their communities and to bring much pleasure to book buyers.”
The Westfield branch will be the company’s largest London Waterstones to open since the Tottenham Court Road shop opened three years ago, covering an area of 4,895 sq ft. Westfield London has been without a specialist bookshop since Foyles closed its shop in the White City shopping centre in 2015. The Wokingham shop (1,580 sq ft) will open in the town’s new Peach Place development and will “restore a specialist bookshop to the historic market town” since the closure of independent bookshop Bookends, said the company.
Waterstones is now owned by Elliott Advisors after the European private equity arm of the American hedge fund had bought a majority stake in the retailer earlier this year.
In September Waterstones announced it was buying Foyles from the Foyle family.
Last week WH Smith said it was closing six loss-making high street stores once their leases ran out, amid "challenging" conditions on the high street.