Only a few days before the Holiday Season, The Book People has gone into administration, with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)taking on the role of administrator as the firm seeks out a buyer. First established in 1988, The Book People has faced stiff competition from online retailers such as Amazon for years, but now it seems it has finally been outmatched.
The good news is that the business will continue to trade and all of the near 400 employees will keep their jobs over Christmas. The BBC also reports that all orders from shoppers will go ahead as normal, so no need to panic that your presents won’t arrive in time.
In 2014, the company was acquired as part of a ‘rescue deal’ by the private equity group Endless.James Woolley, a partner of Endless said it had worked hard to try and secure the future of the company, but was “disappointed” to have failed.
“The well-documented challenges in the retail environment, compounded by the strength of global online booksellers, has severely impacted operating cash flows over recent years,” he said.
Joint administrator and restructuring partner for PwC, Toby Underwood, explained Endless was now looking to sell the business. “I appreciate the obvious concerns that staff in particular will have as we move towards Christmas,” he said.
“Whilst the administrators have funding to meet the payroll for December, the longer-term prospects for the business, staff, customers and suppliers will clearly be dependent upon whether a sale can be secured.”
We wish the staff of The Book People all the best going in to 2020.