Waterstones opened its doors again in Epsom last Saturday after more than five years of rumours that the popular bookshop would return.

Its Ashley Centre branch closed in 2012 to the disappointment of many, so news of the new High Street shop has been welcome among Christmas shoppers.

Manager Matt Gretton said: “We have been very busy, and every customer has been very happy that we have opened up again in the town.

“We’re looking forward to being part of the local community and glad we have brought a bookshop back to Epsom.”

Events are being planned for the new year, which will include a book club.

The Waterstones chain was sold by HMV to Russian oligarch Alexander Mamut in 2011, for £53m and since then has been expanding back into High Streets.

Before this Christmas it also opened new stores in St Neots, Weybridge, Deal in Kent, and London’s Blackheath.

Waterstones managing director James Daunt told The Bookseller the chain planned to open at least 10 new stores in 2017, one of which could be in Reigate.

Last year, the chain saw sales rise by 4 per cent to £409.1m in the year to April 30 2016, helping it achieve an operating profit of £18.8m, resulting in a pretax profit of £9.9m - after finance costs - compared to a pretax loss of £4.5m the previous year.