Publishers cease supply to British Bookshops

Publishers cease supply to British Bookshops

<p>Supply has dried up at British Bookshops after TBS, GBS and HarperCollins put the stricken retailer on stop. The 51 store strong chain went into administration yesterday (13th January). <em>The Bookseller</em> reported earlier that distributor MDL had <a href="../news/144004-mdl-puts-bbs-on-stop.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/144004-mdl-puts-bbs-on-stop.html">noti... clients late on Wednesday</a> that it had stopped supplying the chain because of an unpaid bill dating back to October.</p><p>Administrator Zolfo Cooper said it had received expressions of interest from a number of parties although its spokesperson declined to comment on whether any of these were from bricks and mortar booksellers. The chain is continuing to trade as normal as the administrators move to seek a new owner for the bookseller.</p><p>But it has also brought in GA Europe, described as a &quot;leading restructuring specialist&quot;, which will assist the administrators by operating the stores. GA Europe also claims a proven track record in running &quot;stock clearance programmes&quot; and publishers will be seeking to move quickly in order to establish their Retention of Title over unsold stock. According to one well-placed source BBS owes its trade creditors &pound;10m, but its last accounts, to 31st January 2010 before it expanded, showed it had stock worth &pound;5m in its stores. </p><p>British Bookshops&#39; rapid demise has taken many in the trade by surprise. While rumours of difficulties at the chain began to circulate at the weekend, many publishers contacted this week by <em>The Bookseller </em>were unaware of any issues. The chain was thought to have had a disastrous Christmas, a belief confirmed by its administrator. Its website stopped trading at the weekend.</p><p>Managing director John Simpson refused to talk about the future of the chain, when approached by <em>The Bookseller.</em> He led a buy-out of the chain from turnaround specialists Endless in early 2010. Since the buy-out, Simpson has expanded the chain from 39 stores to 51 shops, and had talked about returning it to profit. The business employs 300 people.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>