Takeover of Kenilworth bookshop finally complete

Former owner Victoria Mier (pictured) has handed over the Tree House Bookshop to Astley Book Farm owner Vivienne Mills

Former owner Victoria Mier (pictured) has handed over the Tree House Bookshop to Astley Book Farm owner Vivienne Mills

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The Tree House Bookshop in Kenilworth has officially changed hands after its former owner finally sold the business.

And new owner Vivienne Mills said she is confident the shop will succeed after becoming a profit-driven company for the first time.

Vivienne, who also runs Astley Book Farm in Bedworth, is now running the bookshop as a second-hand store after approaching previous owner Victoria Mier about a possible takeover.

After talking through her plans with Victoria two weeks ago, the takeover was formally agreed this week and Vivienne now runs the store as part of Astley Book Farm.

Financial pressures meant Victoria was in a difficult position, so she felt Vivienne’s plan was an excellent solution.

Victoria will still be in the shop three days a week as an employee of Vivienne’s and will be running its community events.

She said: “It’s been a project of mine for three years, and it’s sad in a way that I never made it work, but I knew it was going to be difficult to carry on.

“We probably would have closed, so as solutions go it’s such a good one and I couldn’t have hoped for anything better. At the time it felt like a miracle.

“We wouldn’t have got this far without the amazing support of people in Kenilworth for both the bookshop and the evening events, so it’s great to keep on offering something that people enjoy.

“It’s a bittersweet feeling but probably more sweet than bitter.”

Vivienne said part of the reason of taking over the store was for her business to have a presence in south Warwickshire, and felt Kenilworth was a great place to try because of its ‘vibrant’ high street and the support independent stores receive in the town.

She added: “I’ve known about the Tree House Bookshop for a while now, and I think Victoria’s done a fantastic job to last as long as she did.

“Kenilworth’s a vibrant town, and obviously a town that reads. That’s why we’ve come. The high street’s also really well supported.

“It’s a bit different for us because we’ve never been on a high street before, but we think, although we don’t live here, we know Kenilworth fairly well and we think it’s a town with a lot to offer.

“There’ll be a major transformation over the next six weeks - we’ll get more shelves in and might have up to 10,000 books on sale.”

Despite these changes, Vivienne said she was not going to get rid of the evening community events that many Kenilworth residents attend.

The shop will no longer be accepting book donations. Instead, the shop will now buy unwanted books from customers, but only if the books are deemed to be good enough to sell.

Vivienne said they will go through the shop’s existing stock and work out which books are the most desirable.

Also, tea and coffee will no longer be sold, but there will still be refreshments on sale at evening events which will be run by Victoria.

Vivienne will be in the shop on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Victoria will look after the shop on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.