IN A REPORT POSTED YESTERDAY by the Bookseller, Ray George has spoken briefly about the current state of play at Living Oasis, dismissing concerns that staff were given little notice of the closures:
Ray George, chairman of trustees for Living Oasis and head of the Nationwide Christian Trust, said that managers of the affected bookshops were warned in October that if trade didn’t pick up he would have no choice but to close them.
“We said the shops had to sustain themselves to be safe from closure, staff were well aware of that,” he told The Bookseller. “The shops that were closed were losing £40-50,000 each a year and we just cannot afford to keep sustaining that, we had to make that decision.”
Hope that trade would pick up in the weeks before Christmas was not borne out, he added.
The closures bring the number of Living Oasis stores nationwide from 19 to 14, with George adding that further closures would depend on the result of “dialogue” between Living Oasis and church leaders in the coming weeks.
The statement adds to the uncertainty hanging over the remaining shops apart from Leeds and Liverpool, where “Phase Two” developments are in progress.
- For staff who have lost their jobs
- For staff at the remaining shops as they face an uncertain future
- For the churches which Living Oasis hopes to engage in “dialogue”
- For increased transparency and clearer communications both within Living Oasis and in the company’s external relations
- For suppliers to the shops facing loss of business
- For Andy Twilley and Ray George…