Foyles new flagship store opens at 107 Charing Cross Road
6th June 2014
On Saturday 7 June 2014, Foyles, National Bookseller of the Year 2013 and 2012, will open the doors to its new flagship bookshop at 107 Charing Cross Road. Designed by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands as 'a bookshop for the 21st century', the spacious former home of Central Saint Martins is just a step away from Foyles current location at 113-119 Charing Cross Road London.
Hilary Mantel, award-winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, will officially open the new flagship a week later on Friday 13 June 2014. The formal opening of each new department will then be undertaken by a well-loved author: Simon Armitage, Poetry; Mary Beard, History and Politics; Malorie Blackman, Children's and YA; Jarvis Cocker, Music; PD James, Crime Fiction; Mark Kermode, Film and Theatre; Henry Marsh, Medical; Yotam Ottolenghi, Cookery; Michael Palin, Travel; Grayson Perry, Art; Biz Stone, Business; Sarah Waters, Fiction. Many will mark the occasion by unveiling a table of their top ten books from the department, personally recommended for Foyles customers to discover.
The Foyles Grand Opening Festival will take place in the new bookshop over three weeks from Wednesday 11 June - Friday 4 July 2014. Foyles' renowned literary events programme, plus its ever popular jazz and classical performances, will then continue apace in the new store. Custom-fitted events and cultural facilities include a 200-seater Auditorium at Foyles for talks and concerts, a purpose-built Gallery at Foyles, programmed in partnership with Futurecity, and a new Café at Foyles, run by Leafi, which already operates in a number of arts and heritage sites in London.
The new Foyles flagship shop will house a range of over 200,000 different titles on four miles
(6.5km) of shelves - the equivalent of lining one bank of the Thames with books from Battersea
Power Station to the Tower of London. With 37,000 square feet of flexible retail space, spread
across eight alternating foot-plates over four floors, it will be the largest bookshop to open in the
UK so far this century. An impressive full height central atrium and large windows will fill the space
with natural light, while the retail layout will allow for easy navigation and the serendipitous
discovery of new books.
Sam Husain, CEO of Foyles, comments:
'The opening of Foyles 107 Charing Cross Road is a hugely significant moment for us all. It is a sign
of confidence in the future of the printed word and has given us the opportunity to think long and
hard about what a bookshop in the 21st century should offer. It's about discoverability, a chance to
interact with authors and artists, to listen to great music in one of our many performance spaces
and forging partnerships right across the cultural sector.'
Foyles, which was founded in 1903 by brothers William and Gilbert Foyle, first opened on Charing
Cross Road in 1906 and moved to its current location at 113-119 Charing Cross Road in 1929.
Declared by William Foyle to be 'the world's greatest bookshop', it quickly became one of the
capital's most well-known literary landmarks. William's daughter, Christina, built friendships with
some of the leading writers of the time and pioneered bookshop author events, beginning a lecture
series in the 1920s and founding the famous Foyles Literary Luncheons in 1930.
As the business has expanded again in recent years and returned to profit, with Christina's nephew
Christopher Foyle as Chairman and CEO Sam Husain at the helm, the new shop celebrates a new
chapter for this world-renowned, family-owned enterprise.
The Foyles development, with The Saint Martins Lofts residential apartments above the bookshop,
marks a decisive step towards the anticipated resurgence of Soho and the Charing Cross Road
area. This will be fully realised with the opening of Crossrail at Tottenham Court Road in 2018.
Steeped in Central Saint Martins history, the building at 107 Charing Cross Road is a remarkable
mix of modern architecture and Arts and Crafts, designed by EP Wheeler and HFT Cooper of the
London County Council Architects' Department. Featuring relief sculpture by Adolfine Ryland, the
original façade has been cleaned and restored during the refurbishment.