82 jobs have been lost at the Bangor warehouse of a troubled book retailer.
The Book People went into administration shortly before Chrstmas, blaming difficult trading conditions. A total of 155 staff have been made redundant after efforts to find a buyer for the company failed.
Around 60 staff are still working at The Book People’s delivery depot on the Plas Menai business park for the time being. Its head office is located at Godalming in Surrey.
When the company entered administration, around 229 people were based at the Bangor warehouse – but it’s believed other workers also left the company after their contracts were not renewed.
Staff were informed about the redundancies during meetings on Friday afternoon.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers say the firm will continue to trade online and all customer orders will be fulfilled and delivered.
Toby Underwood, a restructuring partner with PWC, said: ”This is a tough time for everybody associated with the much-loved book brand. Despite best efforts in exploring a sale of the business, it has not been possible to do so.”
”It is therefore with regret that we have had to make a number of redundancies today. Our focus will be on helping the affected employees and to keep the website trading with the retained staff for as long as possible.”
The Book People was brought out in September 2014 by a private equity firm as part of a rescue deal. But last month, 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” such as Amazon.
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.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said the job losses was a ”significant blow for the staff affected at Bangor, coming as it does so soon into the New Year.”
They added: ”We will work with the company, partner organisations and the local authority to provide support for those affected.”