Foyles bought by Waterstones

Hugh

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It's actually been some years since I used to visit Foyles regularly, but this feels like another nail in the coffin of bookshops. However well intentioned Waterstones professes to be, it's difficult not to feel dismay.

Waterstones buys Foyles 'to defend bookshops'
 

The Big Peat

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I suppose I should feel sad about that but I can't say I particularly do. The experience in either is much the same and I suspect it will help both.
 

Hugh

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I probably speak out of nostalgia: I've only been in the new store (London) on around three occasions and then only briefly. At one time the old Foyles was a significant place for me.
Sad though, as the Foyles heirs made a lot of noise a few years ago about how they thought they could still make bookselling a profit-making business.
 

Venusian Broon

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I dunno, my favourite bookstore is Waterstone's flagship operation on Piccadilly. I wasn't around when it was Simpsons but I think they made it a cathedral to books (plus the bar at the top was ace). I think I went a couple of times to Foyles, but it was a bit like Blackwell's up here in Auld Reekie, and a bit too focused on students and their texts! (Although I enjoy that sort of store a lot too.)
 

The Big Peat

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I probably speak out of nostalgia: I've only been in the new store (London) on around three occasions and then only briefly. At one time the old Foyles was a significant place for me.
Sad though, as the Foyles heirs made a lot of noise a few years ago about how they thought they could still make bookselling a profit-making business.
Without knowing the terms of sale, its possible they did and decided they liked the offer. There's a Foyles in the mall at Stratford, a Foyles on Southbank, I believe a couple more... they've been expanding at least.
 

Hugh

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Here's today's Guardian:

Waterstones buys Foyles 'in face of Amazon's siren call'

I hadn't appreciated that Foyles had expanded to a total of seven stores in the UK: I was still just thinking of their original London store. However, I see that they made a small loss in the year up to 30.06.17. They also sold their main store in the Charing Cross Road for £45m earlier this year and are now due to pay a significant rent. In addition it does not seem that there are family members keen to keep the company going.
 

Ursa major

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I vaguely recall that Foyles had an odd (antiquated?) process for paying for books back in the late 1970s:
  1. One took the book to a counter where someone would exchange it for a payment slip.
  2. One took the payment slip to another counter where, on payment of the price of the book, they would stamp the slip.
  3. One took the stamped slip and exchanged it for the book.
I'm not sure that the music department (books and scores) was like this. If recall, it had but a single counter, being a relatively small and "remote" part of the shop.
 

Hugh

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I vaguely recall that Foyles had an odd (antiquated?) process for paying for books back in the late 1970s:
  1. One took the book to a counter where someone would exchange it for a payment slip.
  2. One took the payment slip to another counter where, on payment of the price of the book, they would stamp the slip.
  3. One took the stamped slip and exchanged it for the book.
.
That was the system! Truly remarkable.
 

Stephen Palmer

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I bought books that way from the London Foyles in the '80s.
I think the acquisition is, on balance, a good thing. More real bookshops.
 

Scookey

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If any big chain was going to buy Foyles, I am glad it was Waterstone's. At least Waterstone's are still staffed by book enthusiasts and pro-actively market books with author signings and other events. It was a Waterstone's book signing where I met Terry Pratchett and offended him by asking him to read one of mine.
 

Bagpuss

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I vaguely recall that Foyles had an odd (antiquated?) process for paying for books back in the late 1970s:
  1. One took the book to a counter where someone would exchange it for a payment slip.
  2. One took the payment slip to another counter where, on payment of the price of the book, they would stamp the slip.
  3. One took the stamped slip and exchanged it for the book.
It's a very socialist way of paying for something. My parents went to a store in Czechoslovakia before the Soviet invasion in 1968 and they bought a set of drinking glasses from a store in exactly the same way. They still have them. They're very good quality drinking glasses. Of course, my parents went to Czechoslovakia in a Mini. They parked in St. Wenceslas Square in the middle of Prague. The Mini attracted a lot of local attention. A week or so after my parents got back home they watched on tv as the tanks rolled down St Wenseclas Square into the middle of Prague. Pretty much, where they had parked.

We'll be unpacking the drinking glasses for Christmas.
 

Bagpuss

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Oh, and it is exactly how Argos works right now.
 

Bagpuss

Shipwrecked & comatose - where's the mango juice?
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I vaguely recall that Foyles had an odd (antiquated?) process for paying for books back in the late 1970s:
  1. One took the book to a counter where someone would exchange it for a payment slip.
  2. One took the payment slip to another counter where, on payment of the price of the book, they would stamp the slip.
  3. One took the stamped slip and exchanged it for the book.
Actually, the more I think about it the more I think that this is exactly how online retailing works. So:

1. You see something online you want to buy on a website and you click "Buy" on the website - your order is added to a virtual "cart". (the payment slip)
2. You take your virtual "cart" (your payment slip) to a payment website where you enter your credit card details and you pay for the items (stamping the payment slip); and
3. Your goods arrive - delivered by the mail courier of your supplier's choice.

There's nothing really new under the sun.
 
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