Sussex Stationers goes into admin

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By Raviliouse | Saturday, January 15, 2011, 14:48

Lewes could be losing one of its High Street stores after it was announced that budget bookseller British Bookshops & Stationers had entered administration.

Simon Appell, Fraser Gray and Stuart Mackellar, of the recovery specialists Zolfo Cooper, have been appointed administrators while the future of the 51-store company is being considered.

The firm employs some 300 people in the south of England and for the time being the firm is trading as normal. The company is believed to have already received offers of interest.

Cash flow problems coupled with tough trading, particularly due to the bad weather before Christmas, is being blamed for the company's woes. The firm recorded a turnover of £25.7m in the year to end-January 2010, but made a loss of £6m, pre-Christmas sales in 2010 were down in like-to-like figures.

The business was founded as Sussex Stationers in 1938 and is based in Brighton. It was sold by Irish booksellers Eason and Sons to private equity firm Endless in 2009 and is now run by a management buyout team.

It would be sad to see the firm go, many of us will have fond memories of pre-term stocking up on stationeries and reading material – hopefully the expressions of interest will turn into something more and the store will survive.

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