Fopp admits to 'difficulties'

Fopp admits to 'difficulties'

<p>Gordon Montgomery chairman and a major shareholder of the retail chain Fopp, has admitted that the business is &quot;experiencing difficulties&quot;, but has said that the board will not call in the administrators. The revelation comes barely a week after theBookseller.com broke the news that the chain had told publishers to stop supplying it with books.</p><p>According to the Telegraph, the chain closed its 50 stores on Friday for an extra-ordinary stock take and the management has now launched a strategic review with its bankers. Montgomery told the newspaper: &quot;We are experiencing difficulties. However, I can categorically state we will not go into administration.&quot;</p><p>The news will cause further worry among publishers, many of whom reacted with surprise rather than alarm at the chain&#39;s decision to cancel book orders last week. Fopp then blamed the disruption on a warehouse relocation. Publishers spoken to by The Bookseller said they had not been informed of the warehouse move in advance. Another claimed the company owed it overdue &shy;payments. However, most were supportive of a business that has become a significant outlet for many publishers, shifting a mix of cult classics, entertainment books, lifestyle and quirky backlist alongside higher profile works.</p><p>Fopp, which started life as an independent in Glasgow 26 years ago, now operates 46 stores across the UK. According to the Telegraph, a bullish move in February to take over 67 stores from the administrators of failed rival Music Zone is understood to have put pressure on cashflow.<br /></p>