News

British Bookshops to cease trading within a month

All remaining 28 British Bookshops and Stationers stores will shut up shop within a month, unless a last-minute deal can be made with any interested parties.

The programme of closure will begin over the next week, with around 100 staff being made redundant across 28 stores.

Zolfo Cooper, the administrators handling the fate of BB&S after its downfall, is continuing to seek expressions of interest in the remaining 28 stores on an individual basis and is “in discussions with various people who have made approaches”.

BB&S stores are currently offering up to 40% discount off books, with some due to shut next Wednesday and others staying open as long as the middle of March.

Last Tuesday, W H Smith announced it had acquired 22 of the former British Bookshop stores for £1million, transferring 200 jobs in the process. Most of the stores will continue to trade under their original banners, but may change to W H Smith branding in the future.

Comments: Scroll down for the latest comments and to have your say

By posting on this website you agree to the Bookseller comments policy. Comments go direct to live please be relevant, brief and definitely not abusive. Report any "unsuitable comments by clicking the links"

And this is news?

One is beginning to feel that some are relishing the oppurtunity to chew on the carcass.

It is an epic fail on the part of BBS..

Not relishing but not dissapointed or suprised...

In my opinion some of the HO staff needed a boot up the arse.. Can't get a harder kick than this one!

this was the news last tuesday it really didn't need repeating this week. the remaining staff are gutted enough without it being rubbed in!

ENDLESS, The original fund bought and sold and made stacks of money. So that's alright then . .

All good and well but what staff will empty the shops closing down? And where does the stock go? Infact the shops being taken over by WHS have been sold without the stock so they have to empty out too.. Guess that says something about the quality of BBS stock. The company or remainder of it cannot be sold as a flat pack. At best some shops may become independants?

Good luck

Somebody wants to do their maths 100 jobs lost in 28 stores but 200 jobs transferred to WHS in 22 stores, get real, try over 240 jobs to go in the 28 stores as they are some of the larger stores closing down, big shame, hopefully interested parties will show their hands very soon as it would be a great shame to loose some of the fantastic stores with good revenue and well supported by a large customer base.
Unfortunately we are being led at present by a bunch of cow boys i.e GA Europe, as someone mentioned yesterday they could not organise a party in a brewery and as for communication well thats a joke too, but hey they earn their money for nothing whilst 240 odd fantastic people loose thier jobs, no wonder this country is in a mess.

BBS and WHS carried much the same book stock, but offers were better at WHS and there was wider non-book range. If BBS stock has not been refdreshed since Xmas, no-one is going to be fighting for it.

Offers were better? Clearly you haven't shopped in WHS in a while. More and more frequently BBS are being able to put "Best Price in town" labels on their books. WHS often looks cheaper, but on closer inspection is not, with deals such as "Buy ***** and get ***** half price", the average saving actually being smaller than if you bought the two books at BBS.

They are expecting the staff to pack up the remaining stock once the stores close but its not been confirmed we're being paid for that, and in my store (which closes on friday the 19th) most stock is 60% off

What's even worse is the phone calls we've been getting from the younger staff from Waterstones and Smiths along with the jokes, it's incredibly annoying not to mention immature!
We close on the 8th of March and have to deal with so many 'it's such a shame' comments, it's lovely to know we'll be missed on the highstreet, I just wish everyone would be as supportive!
Thanks :)

Silence speaks a million words?

Goodbye BBS..

The most amazing thing about this is that the vast majority of the reported £6.3 million of debt(most of which wasnt actually due to be paid up at the time anyway) has gone through the tills since the company became insolvent. Its extremely sinister the way things have gone considering that bringing forward the jan sale, or picking up the phone and negotiating with some of the larger suppliers, or returning unsold stock, could have easily sorted the insolvency issue.

I hear the MD has done well financially out of this tho so thats alright eh?

How many stores are closing this week?

The staff that are at stores which are closing are supposed to be going in the day after to empty the store. Feels like they're rubbing a hell of a lot of salt in the wound

Anonymous who suspects the MD has done well financially out of BBS going bust is almost certainly wrong. He will have lost whatever money he put in alongside his partner to buy stakes from Endless, and he will presumably be owed salary, expenses and potentially more.

The Anonymous who thinks this could all have been avoided would be right if December hadn't been so rotten...

I would suggest the company is now in Voluntary Liquidation.. Unsecured loans may get something back but in the region of 1/10 value if that.

The figures for this company were a mess and having just glimpsed the figures I understand why the administration was so necessary.

The company was bought out by management but clearly still needed the support of Endless. Well Endless had every right to pull out when the management plan failed to protect the remaining investment of say, 2 million.. That left this company with less than 10% which is a very unhealthy figure indeed.

With any luck the realised values may yield returns to claimants let alone the cost of the Administration.

It is clear that there simply wasn't any money to pay wages to those made redundant.

Saddly I fear that WHS was the only sale saving 22 stores and some jobs.

WHS is a business model and will swallow the competition up whole. It will offset stock and will slowly and with financial return on costs pack up BBS bit by bit.

Property at warehouse goes on auction sale 8th March.

And this is news?

One is beginning to feel that some are relishing the oppurtunity to chew on the carcass.

It is an epic fail on the part of BBS..

Not relishing but not dissapointed or suprised...

In my opinion some of the HO staff needed a boot up the arse.. Can't get a harder kick than this one!

this was the news last tuesday it really didn't need repeating this week. the remaining staff are gutted enough without it being rubbed in!

What's even worse is the phone calls we've been getting from the younger staff from Waterstones and Smiths along with the jokes, it's incredibly annoying not to mention immature!
We close on the 8th of March and have to deal with so many 'it's such a shame' comments, it's lovely to know we'll be missed on the highstreet, I just wish everyone would be as supportive!
Thanks :)

ENDLESS, The original fund bought and sold and made stacks of money. So that's alright then . .

All good and well but what staff will empty the shops closing down? And where does the stock go? Infact the shops being taken over by WHS have been sold without the stock so they have to empty out too.. Guess that says something about the quality of BBS stock. The company or remainder of it cannot be sold as a flat pack. At best some shops may become independants?

Good luck

BBS and WHS carried much the same book stock, but offers were better at WHS and there was wider non-book range. If BBS stock has not been refdreshed since Xmas, no-one is going to be fighting for it.

Offers were better? Clearly you haven't shopped in WHS in a while. More and more frequently BBS are being able to put "Best Price in town" labels on their books. WHS often looks cheaper, but on closer inspection is not, with deals such as "Buy ***** and get ***** half price", the average saving actually being smaller than if you bought the two books at BBS.

They are expecting the staff to pack up the remaining stock once the stores close but its not been confirmed we're being paid for that, and in my store (which closes on friday the 19th) most stock is 60% off

The staff that are at stores which are closing are supposed to be going in the day after to empty the store. Feels like they're rubbing a hell of a lot of salt in the wound

Somebody wants to do their maths 100 jobs lost in 28 stores but 200 jobs transferred to WHS in 22 stores, get real, try over 240 jobs to go in the 28 stores as they are some of the larger stores closing down, big shame, hopefully interested parties will show their hands very soon as it would be a great shame to loose some of the fantastic stores with good revenue and well supported by a large customer base.
Unfortunately we are being led at present by a bunch of cow boys i.e GA Europe, as someone mentioned yesterday they could not organise a party in a brewery and as for communication well thats a joke too, but hey they earn their money for nothing whilst 240 odd fantastic people loose thier jobs, no wonder this country is in a mess.

Silence speaks a million words?

Goodbye BBS..

The most amazing thing about this is that the vast majority of the reported £6.3 million of debt(most of which wasnt actually due to be paid up at the time anyway) has gone through the tills since the company became insolvent. Its extremely sinister the way things have gone considering that bringing forward the jan sale, or picking up the phone and negotiating with some of the larger suppliers, or returning unsold stock, could have easily sorted the insolvency issue.

I hear the MD has done well financially out of this tho so thats alright eh?

How many stores are closing this week?

Anonymous who suspects the MD has done well financially out of BBS going bust is almost certainly wrong. He will have lost whatever money he put in alongside his partner to buy stakes from Endless, and he will presumably be owed salary, expenses and potentially more.

The Anonymous who thinks this could all have been avoided would be right if December hadn't been so rotten...

I would suggest the company is now in Voluntary Liquidation.. Unsecured loans may get something back but in the region of 1/10 value if that.

The figures for this company were a mess and having just glimpsed the figures I understand why the administration was so necessary.

The company was bought out by management but clearly still needed the support of Endless. Well Endless had every right to pull out when the management plan failed to protect the remaining investment of say, 2 million.. That left this company with less than 10% which is a very unhealthy figure indeed.

With any luck the realised values may yield returns to claimants let alone the cost of the Administration.

It is clear that there simply wasn't any money to pay wages to those made redundant.

Saddly I fear that WHS was the only sale saving 22 stores and some jobs.

WHS is a business model and will swallow the competition up whole. It will offset stock and will slowly and with financial return on costs pack up BBS bit by bit.

Property at warehouse goes on auction sale 8th March.