In response to enquiries from BookBrunch, a spokesperson for W H Smith neither confirmed nor denied rumours that the chain would take over the bookselling concession in Selfridges when Foyles pulled out at the end of January - only that Smiths has a news and stationery concession in-store already.
Hughes & Hughes and Blackwells were invited to tender for the space, but the Dublin-based chain declined, and Blackwells pulled out saying that 'it wasn't right for our business'. With its Oxford Street store almost opposite, it would have made no sense for Waterstone's. James Daunt's name has also been mentioned, but he told BookBrunch this week that he was not interested and had not been approached.
Trade observers suggest that WHS is probably the only book retailer able to work within Selfridges' tight margins. Any move would include Selfridges in Manchester's Trafford Centre, as well as London's Oxford Street.