Watkins Books could live again, after an offer for the Cecil Court ‘institution’ was put in by a local businessman. The Bookseller broke the news last week that Watkins Books had closed, following the appointment of administrator Harris Lipman on 23rd February.
American entrepreneur Etan Ilfeld told The Bookseller that he had made an offer for the London bookshop, which had been accepted by Harris Lipman. A spokesperson from the administrator spoken to by The Bookseller said it could not officially confirm the deal.
But Ilfeld said: “I believe the spirituality of London isn’t dead and I believe a place like Watkins should be preserved.” He added that he would try and give the 11 staff their jobs back once the shop reopens. “I’ll try to make sure it is as sustainable as possible – it’s a big undertaking,” said Ilfeld. “I just want to get the doors open, every day that it is closed is just a tragedy.”
Ilfeld owns art gallery Tenderpixel, which is also situated in the London side-street Cecil Court. He said that there were “major challenges” in the market but he would keep the shop as it is and use the Watkins name to build a strong website.