Hughes & Hughes End T5 Airport Bookstore – (Updated on Feb 10th 2009)

Irish retail booksellers, Hughes & Hughes is closing their outlet at Heathrow’s T5 terminal next month. It is believed that BAA, who run Heathrow and Gatwick airports maybe considering moving these book concession outlets to WH Smiths. While many airport terminal bookstore space is quiet limited, Hughes & Hughes was considered to be a more independent book retailer. Borders, who have been streamlining their business during the current recession are not also not expected to renew their leases which are due up shortly across several UK airports.

In a recent article I myself had visited a Borders in Dublin, Ireland and noticed a distinct reducting in titles across the board. Running a small bookstore in an airport is a challenge in itself, but I cannot help feel that this again is an ominous sign for smaller independent bookstores like Hughes & Hughes if we see Borders cutting back. It’s not something which is limited to just bookstores. I’ve seen a similar trend in Ireland in supermarket chains like Dunne Stores and Marks & Spencers. You walk into the store and immdeiately get a sence that stock levels have been drastically cut back and the aisles even seem wider.

UPDATE-Feb, 10th 2009
BAA, operating British airports confirmed on February 10th, that Hughes and Hughes and Borders leases for the bookstores in their terminals will not be re-newed. They have completed an exclusive deal with large bookstore and stationary outlet, WH Smith.

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