Oxford’s biggest books chain Blackwell’s has reopened another city store after it was shut due to coronavirus restrictions.

Its main branch in Broad Street reopened in June following the easing of the lockdown imposed by the government in March.

Oxford Mail:

Blackwell's Broad Street

The chain’s art and poster store in Broad Street welcomed back customers yesterday.

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It contains a selection of art books, graphic novels, games, cards, and posters.

Oxford Mail:

A talk at Blackwell's Westgate store

The shop has opened just in time for returning Oxford University and Oxford Brookes students looking to decorate their bedrooms in halls.

Manager Tamsin Evans-Higgs said: "After several months with the Art and Poster Shop closed, it's been brilliant to have customers back in our shop. We're delighted to have thrown open the doors and had an even busier first day back than we expected - while, of course, ensuring social distance."

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Blackwell’s branch in the Westgate Centre has not yet reopened but the chain said it planned to announce a reopening date for the family bookshop soon.

There is also a Blackwell’s music shop next to the main bookshop in Broad Street.

No date is given on the Westgate Oxford website for Blackwell’s to reopen its branch in the shopping centre.

The website said: “During these unusual times, many of our stores are operating different hours from usual, and some have restrictions in place. Read on to find out more.

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If you don’t see a shop or restaurant listed, you can assume it is closed at present.”

Blackwell’s Westgate branch was launched shortly after the new £440m shopping centre opened in October 2017, bring 100 new stores and restaurants.

Oxford Mail:

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson opened the new bookshop which has an artificial tree in the store as one of its standout features, which is popular with young readers.

Blackwell’s flagship store at 48-51 Broad Street has been selling books since 1879.

Staff celebrated the 141st anniversary in July.

The chain has competition in the city from Waterstones and more recently from London-based Daunt Books.

Last month it opened a new branch in Banbury Road, Summertown

When The Book House in Summertown closed after 40 years in 2018 local bookworms were understandably upset.

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But they are now enjoying a bookstore on their doorstep once more as the chain based in Marylebone opens in the former NatWest Bank building in Banbury Road.

Oxford Mail:

Elizabeth Perry of Daunt Books

Chain spokesman Brett Wolstencroft said at the time: “When we visited Summertown we saw quite a few people with Daunt Books’ bags so we knew there was support for us. We kept a lookout for bank buildings and when this one closed it seemed like the right opportunity.

“It’s quite spacious inside so there will be room for author events at the front and it’s a well-ventilated area so it’s a safe, comfortable space.”