The Last Chapter of UoB’s Waterstone’s

UoB’s campus Waterstone’s is the latest victim of the economic downturn as it announces its closure.

Waterstone’s campus branch, a site that has been in business since the 60s, will be forced to close due to lack of sales.

Everyone’s used to walking down their local high street and seeing shop after shop boarded up, awaiting new owners. However, no one expects to see this on their university campus.

Expect to see this boarded up soon

All of the shop’s staff, some long-serving with up to 26 years’ experience, will be made redundant as there are no open positions in any stores.

The store manager, Sandra, said: “It’s no one’s fault but everyone’s fault”. She said it “would be easier to accept if there was someone to blame.”

The store received no warning about the closure from head office or the University. Staff knew sales weren’t as strong as in previous years, in part due to the rise internet shopping, but didn’t expect to be closed.

Interestingly for a university-based store, fiction sales were performing best. Academic texts were, quite literally, being left on the shelf.

Staff strived to make their shop a student friendly environment and wanted to be as welcoming as possible.

One staff member said: “Students sometimes came in for help with reading lists, and I would spend a while deciphering what the lectures wanted, but then they would just ask for the ISBN so they could buy it on Amazon. What can you say? I just wanted to help.”

Sandra said: “We want to thank all the students, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you and we wish you all the best of luck in what you do because you are all so hard working!”

“We will miss you; some of us have been here long enough to see former students come back to work here as lecturers.”

Waterstone’s will still be open for business until April 26, so go in and buy a book, or talk to the staff – they want to see you!