Charing Cross Road bookseller Foyles is to open a satellite branch at the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank in June this year.
The new shop, which will trade from one floor with 300 square metres of retail space on the riverside level at the Royal Festival Hall, will stock around 30,000 books plus a range of sheet music and will open in June.
The £90 million refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall auditorium and foyers is scheduled to begin in July. Throughout the refurbishment, Foyles and other retail outlets and restaurants will remain open to the millions of visitors that the South Bank attracts every year.
This the first occasion for over 70 years that Foyles has opened a branch beyond the Charing Cross Road, where its store has just had a £4 million refurbishment and enjoyed buoyant Christmas sales.
"This is the perfect opportunity for us to grow organically, giving the millions of visitors to the South Bank a taste of Foyles, commented chairman Christopher Foyle. "The Royal Festival Hall and Foyles are both internationally renowned brands and there's an attractive synergy with both Foyles in Charing Cross Road and the South Bank offering a vibrant mix of musical, arts, and literature programming."
South Bank Centre chief executive Michael Lynch added: "Having the world's most famous bookshop on the South Bank is fantastic for us and we're sure it will be for Foyles and the book buying public who visit the South Bank. Our commercial activities have maintained a strong performance year on year and are currently trading at 16 per cent above forecast. The addition of Foyles adds to this success and ideally complements the world-class artistic programme we present."
Over five million people pass annually along the Queen's Walk and the Royal Festival Hall attracts some 3 million visitors a year. Three of the other five units – restaurants and food outlets Wagamama , Strada and EAT – are scheduled to open at the Royal Festival Hall at the same time as Foyles.
The current Books etc store at the Royal Festival Hall is to close.