Waterstones buys Foyles

UK national bookseller Waterstones has bought the Foyles bookshop chain from the Foyle family for an undisclosed sum.

James Daunt, managing director of Waterstones, said: “Together we will be stronger and better positioned to protect and champion the pleasures of real bookshops in the face of Amazon’s siren call.”

Foyles has three bookshops in Bristol, Birmingham and Chelmsford and four shops in London including its flagship store at Charing Cross Road.

Christopher Foyle said: “My family and I are delighted that Foyles is entering a new chapter, one which secures the brand’s future and protects its personality. I look forward to witnessing the exciting times ahead for the company founded by my grandfather and his brother 115 years ago.”

Currently, Waterstones operates 283 stores in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium. It also owns Hatchards in Piccadilly, which was founded in 1797, and Hodges Figgis in Dublin.

Daunt said: “It is an exciting and invigorating time in bookselling as good bookshops are rediscovering their purpose in the fight back against online and e-reading. At Waterstones, we see our future as responsible stewards of shops that strive to serve their customers each according to their own distinct personality.

“This is nowhere more important that with those shops – Hatchards, Hodges Figgis and now Foyles, that have such singular personalities.”