Robert Klanten interviewed by PAGE.
Foyles Flagship Store
December Shop of the Month
When did it start?
Foyles is an award-winning independent bookstore with a long history. Established in 1903 by brothers William and Gilbert Foyle initially as an opportunity to sell textbooks, the company rapidly grew into what became the largest bookshop in the world during the 1920s, expanding into other ventures including libraries, book clubs and publishing. Today the company operates from six branches (receiving approximately 1.75 million visitors to its main store alone each year) - Flagship Store Charing Cross Road, Royal Festival Hall, St. Pancras International, Westfield White City, Westfield Stratford City and Cabot Circus, Bristol. In addition we run a regular stall featuring graphic novels and illustrated children’s books at Goldsmiths Row Market, Hackney every Sunday.
Could you describe the neighbourhood in which the store is located?
The Charing Cross Road Flagship store is conveniently located on the borders of Soho and Covent Garden, close to the capital’s cultural hubs for design and advertising as well as key shopping districts, museums and galleries.
Please describe the kinds of books you carry, and what services do you offer your customers?
Apart from fine art, critical theory, photography, fashion, design and architecture, we also stock titles on every subject including the largest range of foreign language titles in the UK, with booksellers always on hand to provide specialist advice. All our titles are also available on our website where we offer delivery to home and business as well as an ever increasing number of eBooks for immediate download. We also run a loyalty scheme in store and online – Foyalty.
What other merchandise do you stock?
In addition to books we also stock film and documentary DVDs, sheet music, classical CDs and jazz vinyls. We also carry a large range of magazines (including many independent offerings) gift items, stationary, postcards and art materials.
Who comes to visit the store?
Anyone who has a passion for books, including students, writers, artists and professionals.
What are your favourite Gestalten books?
Current favourites include Nostalgia: The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II Captured in Colored Photographs for its vivid images, and Once in a Lifetime: Travel and Leisure Redefined – its packed with fascinating and quirky architectural gems!
What are your customers’ favourite Gestalten books?
There are so many! But our bestsellers include Introducing Visual Identities for Small Businesses, Visual Storytelling, Neither Here Nor There – the Art of Oliver Jeffers and the recent release High Touch-Tactile Design and Visual Explorations.
Do you do anything at your store besides sell books? Do you for example, have any events or exhibitions there?
We host illustration and art exhibitions in our Gallery and Café, as well as launches to promote the works of authors and publishers. Past events have included talks and signings with Arvo Part, Jake Chapman, Grayson Perry, the Battle of Ideas lecture series and performances by Jamie Cullum and the Dalston Gypsy Jazz Trio. Luke Pearson and Dave McKean have exhibited in the Gallery and we’ve even had street artist JR pasting his work on the side of the building…
What’s next in the pipeline?
We’re currently in the process of refurbishing our exciting new premises next door formerly Central Saint Martin’s College of Art, ready to move in 2014.
Is there anything else about the store that you’d like us to mention?
Look out for our staff recommendations and themed promotions in store and in our windows – all individually selected by our booksellers. If you’re looking for inspiration or just in need of a great read come and visit us.
Address, website, opening hours, nearest tubes/buses?
Nearest tube stations: Tottenham Court Road & Leicester Square
Buses: 14, 24, 29, 19, 38, 176
For more information and a complete listing of our departments please see our website.
- 113-119 Charing Cross Road
- London ,
- Postal Code:
- WC2H OEB
- United Kingdom
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