Jobs on the line as book firm goes into administration

Geograph (Eric Jones)

More than 220 jobs are at risk at the Bangor warehouse of a children’s book firm.

Administrators have been called in at The Book People, which runs a delivery depot on the Plas Menai business park. The company has blamed difficult trading conditions and capital pressures for its decision on Tuesday.

Pricewaterhouse Coopers say the business is continuing to trade and no immediate job losses are expected as they look to find a buyer for the company.

In September 2014, The Book People was brought out by a private equity firm as part of a rescue deal. But Endless LLP said the company’s cash flow had been badly hit by ”well-documented challenges in the retail environment” and ”the strength of global online booksellers”.

Much of the company’s profits are made online – it has an annual turnover of £50 million and sells more than 17 million children’s books, gifts, toys and stationery each year, often at discounted prices.

Nearly 400 staff work for The Book People – around 229 are based at the company’s base in Bangor. Its head office is located in Surrey.

Toby Underwood, joint administrator with PWC, said: ”I appreciate the obvious concerns that staff in particular will have as we move towards Christmas. 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.”

Mr Underwood added all orders already placed in time for Christmas are expected to be received and accepted.

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