Endless to keep 'British Bookshops' name

<p>British Bookshops&#39; new owner Endless has said it will not merge the bookseller with its discount book chain The Works. Former W H Smith trading director John Simpson has been installed as chief executive along with a new senior management team. Simpson succeeds Michael Shakespeare, who left British Bookshops un&shy;expectedly earlier this month.</p><p>Simpson said: &quot;The new management will be working with the existing management of the business to continue to trade the business in its current form while undertaking a detailed review of all areas with the objective of returning the business to profit. For the avoidance of doubt, while Endless also owns the book retailer The Works, there are no plans to merge the two businesses in any way.&quot;</p><p>He added that Endless would &quot;invest significantly&quot; in the business. A spokesman for Endless declined to confirm whether job losses or store closures would follow. He said: &quot;We&#39;re not in a position to discuss individual parts of the business before the detailed review is completed.&quot; <br />Irish bookseller Eason sold the 36-strong chain to the private equity firm on Monday for an undisclosed sum, bringing down the curtain on its five-year involvement in Great Britain.</p><p>Eason&#39;s bought British Bookshops and Sussex Stationers in 2004, and took full control of the company in 2005, in a deal then estimated to be worth &pound;30m. In the year to 27th January 2008, British Bookshops made a pretax loss of &pound;1.8m on sales of &pound;34.7m, down 4.8%.</p><p>Basil McAllister, managing director of Eason&#39;s, said: &quot;Following a strategic review Eason&#39;s has decided to focus on retailing in Ireland. Consequently, British Bookshops was put up for sale and a deal to sell it to Endless was concluded.&quot;</p><p>He added: &quot;We believe the business will be in good hands. Endless has had a successful experience with The Works and it intends to make a significant investment in British Bookshops. It will also be bringing on board new, experienced management to develop and grow British Bookshops.&quot;</p><p>British Bookshops&#39; new c.e.o. has been in retail for more than 25 years. He was previously European m.d. of The Jewellery Channel, m.d. of retailer Past Times and trading director of W H Smith. He left W H Smith in early 2005.<br /></p>