SSG Uncertainty Continues (2)

Update, Friday 13th June 2008
New reports posted by the Bookseller and the Church Times today:
St Stephen the Great files for bankruptcy | Ex-SPCK shops ‘bankruptcy’

Below, my updated notice now posted alongside all SSG entries in the UK Christian Bookshops Directory. Previous version here: SSG Uncertainty Continues (1)

Any new info, please do let me and/or Dave know. The best guide to which shops are currently trading may be found on Dave’s Former SPCK shop roundup page.

In October 2006 the former SPCK Bookshops and their associated websites were entrusted by SPCK to the Saint Stephen the Great Charitable Trust (SSG), under the control of Messrs Philip and Mark Brewer. Unfortunately shops and staff alike suffered in the transition to new ownership, leading to staff departures, branch closures and uncertainty over opening times for those that remain.

Reports emerging during June 2008 indicate a deepening crisis: SSG has apparently filed for bankruptcy in the USA whilst ownership and control of the shops has been transferred to a new company — also registered to the Brewers — called ‘ENC Management Company’. The Durham and Chichester shops appear to have been reconstituted as independent trading companies but remain under the Brewers’ personal control.

The SPCK name is still in use over shops and online despite an online statement from SPCK (dated 12/11/2007 but since removed from the SPCK website) emphasising that they “do not own, manage or otherwise run the Bookshops”.

In view of these uncertainties, anyone considering trading with SSG, ENC Management Company or the so-called independent shops may be wise to seek legal advice first.

Latest news and comments on the situation may be found in either this site’s blog or Dave Walker’s Save the SPCK pages.

Anyone concerned by SSG’s treatment of the former SPCK booksellers and wishing to help is invited to make a donation to the UKCBD Save the SPCK Booksellers Fund.

Information posted here is based upon the best available information at the time. In particular there is no clear information available about which SSG/ENC shops are currently trading: prospective customers are strongly advised to check before visiting.

(This notice updated 12/06/2008 )