Cambridge has three bookshops, Waterstones, Heffers, and Cambridge University bookshop. There are branches of Waterstones in many towns and cities. This Cambridge branch is big for the size of the town, with three floors and a cafe tucked at the back on the ground floor and another cafe on the second floor.
Heffers is big as well, opposite Trinity College, with a wide frontage and a huge space inside.
Then there is Blackwells, with branches in Oxford and Edinburgh among other locations. There is no branch of Blackwells in Cambridge. but read on.
What is not obvious is that through a steady march of acquisitions – Waterstones, Heffers, and Blackwells are all owned by the Elliott Investment Management hedge fund, along with Barnes and Noble in the USA, and Foyles in London, a brand that has been around since the early nineteen hundreds.
Hmmmm, NOT so great to hear that a hedge fund owns all of our bookstores here along with the other three biggies in the UK and the USA which you note here.
I am also somewhat taken aback to hear likewise about Heffers and Blackwell: I thought they in particular would have more autonomy. Crikey….. 😟
As a retired book editor and teacher/professor, I lament this all the more.
The whole kit and caboodle sounds like a monopoly by inches.
The rationale will be economies of scale. As long as they give autonomy to the individual bookshops…