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Foyles and The Bookseller Unite to Crowdsource a “21st Century” Bookstore

By Alex Mutter

Foyles and The Bookseller have made an “open call” for customers and industry experts alike to help them design a flagship bookstore fit for the 21st Century.

Too old school? How about something a bit more modern?

The news came today at the FutureBook conference, when a call was made for any interested parties to apply to attend an upcoming workshop with architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Workshop attendants will share their thoughts on any and all issues currently facing traditional bookstores, including ever-declining physical book sales, the importance of the bookstore as an institution and how bookstores can provide customers with books regardless of format. Foyles and The Bookseller will then make the workshop’s results public, and notify anyone if his or her ideas were used.

“I do not believe the bookshop is dead, economically or in any other way,” said Philip Jones, Editor of The Bookseller, in a press release. “But we do…know that high street shops are under severe stress: some of this may be down to the recession, and some of it because of the shift to digital. Either way it needs to be addressed.”

The new flagship Foyles shop will be located at 107-109 Charing Cross Road, next door to the building that Foyles has occupied since 1929. The move is scheduled for spring 2014, while the workshop is planned for next February, once the new building’s foundations and departments are fixed.

“What we are offering with this workshop is a truly unique opportunity, an open platform for creative but constructive play,” said Miriam Robinson, Marketing Head at Foyles, “a chance to create a bookshop where the experiential, cultural strengths of brick and mortar meets the growing opportunities of digital.”

While the workshop will be limited to only thirty participants, Foyles is also fielding general ideas and suggestions regarding what to do with their new store.

Via The Bookseller

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