SSG Uncertainty Continues (1)

Below, the notice that I’ve been running alongside the SSG entries in the UK Christian Bookshops Directory since early April: figured I ought to preserve it for posterity. Will be updating it this evening with something that more accurately reflects the current chaos. Suggestions, anyone? Other than just “Aaaargh!” please, even if that does more or less sum things up…

The former SPCK Bookshops and their associated websites are owned and operated by the Saint Stephen the Great Charitable Trust(SSG), which acquired the shops from SPCK in October 2006.

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, with at least one branch (Leicester) becoming independent. Previous shop descriptions, opening times and other information has therefore been removed and SSG have been invited to provide up to date details; until this is provided and independently verified, details shown here, whilst offered in good faith, may or may not be valid.

Branches reported as closed or slated for closure include Birmingham, Bristol, Canterbury, Cambridge, Cardiff, Carlisle, Lincoln, Norwich and Sheffield. Customers are strongly advised to phone ahead before visiting these or any other branches.

Although the SPCK name is still in use over the shops and online, that use is subject to ongoing legal discussions. SPCK have emphasised “that they do not own, manage or otherwise run the Bookshops” (online statement dated 12/11/2007), whilst SSG have declined to comment. In view of the uncertain legal position no link to can be provided at present. Online fulfillment is apparently being provided by St Andrew’s Bookshops: again, in view of the uncertainty, prospective customers may be wise to consider shopping elsewhere.

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.

Latest News
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Updates on the situation may be found in the UKCBD News Section and in Dave Walker’s Blog.

(This notice updated 06/04/2008 )

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