Exclusive Books. File Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL/RUSSEL ROBERTS
Exclusive Books. File Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL/RUSSEL ROBERTS

Exclusive Books’ flagship store in Hyde Park Corner, Johannesburg, has been shortlisted for the London Book Fair’s (LBF) International Excellence Award, in the category of The Bookstore of the Year. Exclusive Books CEO Benjamin Trisk said on Friday, "[The award] is just fantastic for us. All British publishers come to SA and are blown away by what we have done so far."

The largest bookselling chain in SA has gone through impressive refurbishments since the change of ownership in 2014 from Times Media Group to a consortium led by Global Capital. The Hyde Park store underwent an enormous revamp, which included a restaurant and lounge area in September 2015. It re-opened in November of the same year.

"We have between 60,000 and 70,000 titles — very few bookstores have that type of range. Then you have the design, knowledge of the staff and feel of the store coupled with great food at the restaurant. That’s what makes us different."

With a new store set to open at Durban’s Balito Junction in six weeks and Cavendish Square in Cape Town about to undergo refurbishments, Trisk has big plans for the brand — "It should pay off, it costs a lot of money and takes time."

Other nominees for the award, which will be announced sometime between March 14 and 16, include Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France and Time Out Bookstore in Auckland, New Zealand.

Director of the LFB, Jacks Thomas said, "I am delighted that the 2017 shortlist is truly global, with five continents represented."

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