AN OXFORD independent bookshop is branching out by going back to its roots.
A new branch of The Last Bookshop is set to reopen today in Jericho, just yards from the store’s first site on Walton Street.
Owners Jake Pumphrey and Nick Walsh also manage a wholesale business from a warehouse near Abingdon and their second Oxford bookshop will also include a cafe.
Mr Pumphrey said: “Jericho has lots of literary connections, from scenes in Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, to Colin Dexter’s The Dead of Jericho, and Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights and Lyra’s Oxford. It’s the perfect setting for a bookshop and we’re delighted to be returning to the area, particularly as it was the setting for the launch of the Last Bookshop mini-chain.
“Jericho was once the stopping place for visitors entering Oxford, and we hope that customers will stop in our new shop.”
The first Last Bookshop opened in Walton Street in 2009, but had to close down three years later to make way for student accommodation and new shops.
The shop’s original premises in Walton Street, Jericho
Mr Pumphrey and Mr Walsh also run Last Bookshops in New Inn Hall Street as well as in Bristol and Salisbury.
They started Pumpkin Books in Gloucester Green in 1994 and established Pumpkin Wholesale in 2000 and together their businesses now employ 20 people.
Mr Pumphrey said: “We are delighted we have found another city centre location. Oxford has long been a centre for writing, publishing and bookselling, and we are determined to do our bit to help keep this tradition going.
“The Last Bookshop name was chosen as a rebuke to those who predicted the death of the book with the rise of e-readers and the internet, and we’re continuing to prove that customers still value the traditional bookshop experience.”
The store will open in a unit previously occupied by Movies Video Rental which closed last year.
The area also features The Albion Beatnik bookshop in Walton Street.
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