WHS acquires 22 British Bookshops stores

WHS acquires 22 British Bookshops stores

W H Smith has acquired 22 stores previously run by British Bookshops and Stationers in a £1m deal.

The majority of the bookshops will continue to trade under BB&S frontage and 200 jobs will be saved in the deal.

However, the stores W H Smith has acquired in Teddington and Southwick will begin a "phased takeover" on 22nd February.

The South England-based chain went into administration in January after suffering "cash flow difficulties, coupled with the tough trading climate for booksellers." It made 40 head office staff redundant at the time. Since then, the stores have offered heavy discounts to customers in order to clear stock.

A number of parties have expressed interest in the retailer, and talks reached a climax last night [7th February]. Now it has been announced that high street book retailer W H Smith has acquired 22 of the 51 BB&S stores.

In a trading statement, W H Smith said: "W H Smith High Street confirms it has acquired 22 stores and intellectual property from British Bookshops and Stationers Limited (in administration) for a total cash consideration of £1.05 million.”

No stock has been purchased in the deal.

Simon Appell, partner at Zolfo Cooper said: “We are pleased to have been able to safeguard the iconic British Bookshops
& Stationers brand through the sale of 22 stores.

“We would like to thank all staff across the business for their continued professionalism during this difficult period and wish British Bookshops & Stationers all the best moving forwards.”

The administrators are still pursuing other options for the remaining stores.

The 22 stores W H Smith has acquired are:
 
Bexhill
Bognor
Brighton (London Rd)
Brighton (Western Rd)
Chichester
Crowborough
Dorking
Eastbourne
Hailsham
Hove
Lancing
Lewes
Littlehampton
Reigate
Rustington
Seaford
Sevenoaks
Shoreham
Southwick
Teddington
Tunbridge Wells
Uckfield