Lewes Forum thread

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British Bookstore Saved?

On 8 Feb 2011 at 1:39pm williamdyer wrote:
So, seems that WHSmith have come to the rescue of British Bookstores. I for one welcome our chocolate-upselling overlords. Question is, what changes might be made to the store?
On 8 Feb 2011 at 2:44pm Off-Message wrote:
That's not unwelcome news - at least for the jobs in those stores in the deal, which appears to include Lewes. But from a shoppers' point of view it doesn't hold out much hope. If WHS use its own business model of the glorified newsagent - actually, not even glorified come to think of it, then I can't see it having a future. But then I'm not sure what high street business model centred on books and stationery does have a future. In Lewes it may work to go upmarket but unless the individual stores are permitted significant autonomy, this isn't going to make sense in the less desirable locations. Presumably Smiths have cherry-picked the profitable stores? On the other hand they may have bought the ones in direct competition with nearby branches of Smiths, or those with conversion potential, in which case Lewes Sussex Stationers may not survive in any form for long.
On 8 Feb 2011 at 6:02pm The Slower Tell wrote:
Isn't this the 3rd time this chain has been sold on since the original owners cashed in? In a ever increaseing online market place and with the advent of the Amazon Kindle and electronic books what future did this chain really have, it had it's heyday in the 80's and 90's and is a victim of the times and technology. Well done to the original owners for cashing in when they did. I fully expect the site to be closed, sold (as there is already a WHSmiths in town) and re-opened by some wishy washy bint called Miranda or Felicity so she can sell ethnic products to her fiends [sic] who are visiting from London.
On 8 Feb 2011 at 10:34pm Trevor wrote:
No not WH Smiths awfull shop, went downmarket and now dosent know what it is .
If Haywards Heath can have a Waterstones why can't we?
Look forward to plenty of long queues and no stock.
On 9 Feb 2011 at 9:44am Ed Can Do wrote:
I know the people who sold it the first time and I'm pretty sure WHSmith were keen on buying it back then. I imagine they got it a lot cheaper this time than they would have then. At one point, Sussex Stationers were selling something like 1 out of every 4 books sold in the South East and even if their market share has dropped, the fact is that bookshops in general are struggling. I'll admit that I buy nearly all my books from Amazon although to be fair I tend to read fairly niche Sci-fi stuff that Sussex Stationers don't stock.

I'd imagine that with rents being what they are in Lewes the building will be converted into flats like so much of the rest of the High Street these days.
On 9 Feb 2011 at 12:57pm jrsussex wrote:
The bottom line is retails outlets close or go into liquidation because not enough people have given them their custom. It is pointless complaining about the likes W H Smith, the supermarket chains and other large stores unless you can, with hand on your heart, say that you did shop locally where possible. My wife and I shop at Tescos and Sainsbury's but for example buy our veg from a small local fruit & veg shop, birthday cards etc we buy from a small card shop we know, bread from a small shop that sells it, milk from the milkman and so on. In the main it is a little more expensive, but I would argue not such that the average family/person would struggle to find the little extra.
On 9 Feb 2011 at 12:59pm The Slower Tell wrote:
Maybe that nice Bill chap can open a cafe/restaurant there to save some of us from having to walk all the way up School Hill with a belly full off good food. Let's be honest, if the popularity of the one in Cliffe is anything to go by another one would be a good idea for him and his numerous satisfied customers.
On 9 Feb 2011 at 1:04pm 4ever Ouvert wrote:
I've just spoken to one of the staff at the Lewes store. Good news is that the store will be taken over by WH Smith and will remain open and continue trading under the same name.
On 9 Feb 2011 at 3:06pm not from around here wrote:
"If Haywards Heath can have a Waterstones then why can't we?" It's not a right to have certain shops or businesses Trevor. The reason that many shops or businesses don't survive is because Lewes is a trading backwater compared with other towns such as Haywards Heath and the mighty Brighton (London-by-the-sea).
On 9 Feb 2011 at 6:01pm Cynic wrote:
Waterstones is an awful bookshop, full of 3 for 2 offers to persuade you to buy books you don't want by making it seem you're getting a bargain and 'staff picks' that assume you have the same mentality as the 12 year olds who work there. I'm sorry, but it's far better to use Amazon, get what you want, and get it at a bargain price.
On 9 Feb 2011 at 8:11pm phil wrote:
does that mean that it will sell the same stuff? i.e craft stuff etc?

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