News Roundup: CLC Updates | Farewell to Fools | Jobs at BRF and Eden | Roger Compton leaves TMD | and more…


CLC Updates: London and Leicester

London: CLC are relocating in central London, from Holborn Viaduct to Ave Maria Lane (photos below), just a stone’s throw from St Paul’s Cathedral. The Holborn Viaduct lease still has some time to run so they are currently trading from both locations, with the Holborn store focusing on remainders and Book Aid:

CLC Bookshop
3-4 Ave Maria Lane (nr Ludgate Hill)
LONDON EC4M 7AQ
020 7248 2356
Opening times: Mon – Weds, Fri & Sat, 10.00am – 5.30pm; Thurs, 10.00am – 7.30pm

CLC Bookshop
26-30 Holborn Viaduct
LONDON EC1A 2AQ
020 7353 2677
Opening times: Mon -Fri, 10.00am – 5.00pm

Phil Burnham, CLC National Director, explains:

From the little I know about them, commercial leases are a pain to negotiate, a pain to sign off and a pain when they end. The middle bit isn’t always a smooth ride either. The economic downturn had converted the area around us into a wasteland on Holborn Viaduct, right in the City, and had accelerated the decline in our sales. Many have lost their jobs, firms have relocated or downsized and there just wasn’t the footfall past our shop that there used to be. So, what to do when our 20 year lease would expire in June 2012? After much prayer and heart-searching, the CLC Trustees had to decide: take out a new lease in the same location if we were offered it, find an alternative location in central London or move out to the suburbs…? In the end it was decided that we should do everything we could to retain our ministry in central London and secure premises now rather than wait longer and suffer the uncertainty of trying to find somewhere suitable. Yes, we are still covering costs on Holborn Viaduct, thank the Lord, but knowing there is so much potential out there and you’re not reaching it is demoralising over time. So, in faith the Trustees decided we should go for it, take the plunge and trust the Lord for sufficient sales in both locations to cover our costs.

Until such time as our lease expires or we are released from it by the landlord (please, Lord), we have two shops in central London. A sort of CLC Inverness situation where we continue with two leases (think back to March) but on a bigger scale…

After a frantic scramble, long hours by our very committed staff and volunteers and countless hitches (not all of our making) the stores opened to the public on Tuesday 9th August. Our Holborn Viaduct store was closed for just two days while the stock was moved and then displayed; from its ground floor we are now selling remainders and Book Aid materials. We were already selling Book Aid’s secondhand books on the lower-ground floor; they now have more space upstairs at ground level and in return provide someone every day to work in the shop. Existing shop staff provide the additional cover. The shop opens Monday to Friday only. Saturday long ago ceased being a busy day, which is amazing when you consider it used to be our busiest day of the week! Our valued customers, besides finding some bargains, are directed to the new location and this is less than a ten-minute walk away. Our prayer is that they will all make that journey, and use both stores!

For the third time in our history we are very near St Paul’s Cathedral. In fact, we are within 250 metres of the steps. It is already thrilling to see the difference in footfall, praise the Lord. We are just off Ludgate Hill in a short street called Ave Maria Lane and which becomes Warwick Lane (just next to Paternoster Square and Amen Corner!!!).

At the time of writing there are still some jobs unfinished. There have been complications with phone lines, computers… you name it. And there’s no shop sign yet. Those who know the Holborn Viaduct store won’t be surprised at this; we were not allowed to have a very visible sign there at all, which didn’t help things very much. But we have already made a good many people happy (those who work nearby particularly) and we look forward to welcoming customers old and new into our much smaller (but no less expensive) bookshop and providing them with the items they need. Likewise we hope to meet the spiritual needs of the tourists who abound in the area, both through sales and engaging with them in conversation as and when possible.

Manager Petra Nemansky says,

It is really great to see customers finding us already in the first few days, both “old” ones and also some new ones who are absolutely delighted that we are there for them. There is a huge amount of work ahead of us still but a very BIG thanks is due to all who have worked to make it possible thus far! That includes those behind the scenes in prayer – we really appreciate it!

CLC London: New premises at Ave Maria Lane (outside)

CLC London: New premises at Ave Maria Lane (outside)

CLC London: New premises at Ave Maria Lane (inside)

CLC London: New premises at Ave Maria Lane (inside)

Leicester: CLC Leicester is preparing to relocate from Belvoir Street to the former SPCK premises on Bishop Street, vacated earlier this year when Christian Resources Leicester moved to St Martin’s House in the Cathedral Square. More details to follow…


Farewell to Fools

Saddened to report another Christian bookshop closure: Fools, Upminster, has ceased trading:

Fools has now ceased trading...

Fools has now ceased trading...


BRF Job Vacancy: Guidelines Commissioning Editor

BRF Job Vacancy: Guidelines Commissioning Editor

Jobs at BRF and Eden

BRF are looking for a new commissioning editor for Guidelines, one of their range of daily devotionals. Could it be you? Closing date for applications, August 26th: full details.

Eden have a range of vacancies available, from Development Managers for specific departments (Children’s, Music & DVD, Bible & Bible Study and Christian Life) through Online Copywriters to Web Designers, with more opportunities coming up over the next year or so.

“Timing,” explains Gareth Mulholland, Eden’s founder and MD, “is not set in stone as we’d rather have the right person onboard” — but if you think your face might fit, the sooner you contact him, the better:  full details.


Roger Compton leaves TMD

Regular readers will have noted Andrew Jenkins’ indignant comments (Feedback, August 4, 2011) about Roger Compton’s recent departure from TMD in the latest round of redundancies. I invited TMD to clarify the situation. Pete Barnsley, TMD’s Marketing Director, explains:

Roger is a great guy and has worked for the organization for 12 years, initially working in Wesley Owen Wigmore Street before joining the sales team when an opportunity arose. He is well respected and liked both within the Company and amongst customers.

However the economic realities we are facing are impacting TM Distribution in much the same way as many others in our trade and we have had to make painful decision to secure the future of the organization. Job losses far from being a knee jerk reaction are only contemplated once other options have been tried (for example, attempts to increase sales through promotions and looking at other forms of cost saving).

The personal cost to the individual is not taken lightly. We have lost a number of posts across the company from folk working in the warehouse to senior managers, all areas have been affected.

We understand that Roger’s role is high profile in the trade and attracts a lot of attention, but in terms of why Roger; it is more to do with the location of the individuals within the sales team. If we have to cutback, and lose someone from the sales team then the territory where we could make adjustments and protect the service level to customer was Roger’s current territory. It is anticipated that tele-sales initiatives will be launched to complement visits from the Trust Media Sales Team on a less frequent basis within this territory. It is our intention to improve the frequency of contact and level of service to accounts as a consequence.

Roger has acted with understanding and dignity, as you would expect in the entire process and I really want to reiterate as we have been at pains to point out to all individuals affected, that these actions have been taken to secure the long term financial viability of the Company and should not be construed as a reflection on the contributions of any of those affected. We will miss Roger.

Roger Compton, you’re a rock: I salute you and take this opportunity to thank you for all your encouragement and support during my tenure as LST’s Bookshop Manager. May the Lord bless you, strengthen you, and make his way for you clear during these difficult times.


Social Media Update

Social media: it’s about much more than inciting teenagers to riot, and a few new kids have joined us on the block over the last month or so. Catch up with them here:

FM Bookshop in Edinburgh need some facebook love at facebook.com/pages/FM-Bookshop-Edinburgh/255825277767201 and are twittering @fmedinburgh.

The Mustard Seed, Kirkwall, celebrated their 14th anniversary on Monday August 8th: celebrate with them by hitting that ‘Like’ button at facebook.com/pages/The-Mustard-Seed-Bookshop/211128988910479.

Shepherds Bookshop in Newport, South Wales, are on facebook at facebook.com/ShepherdsChristianBookshop and twittering @ShepherdsNwpt.

SPCK are twittering @SPCKPublishing: tweets by their new Publicist, Holly Thompson, who I’m reliably informed is on standby to welcome us, answer queries and direct us to reviews, articles and author media, as well as entertain us with “her appalling Friday jokes(!)” — follow at your own risk!

Shout out in the comments if you’re twitbooking and haven’t received a mention…


Special Offers around the Shops

And finally, to whet the appetites of any readers who haven’t visited their local Christian bookshop recently, a couple of special offers…

Quench are offering £1 off every Hillsong CD plus a free CD with every Hillsong purchase. The freebie is a an eight-track compilation album from all the Hillsong groups including Chapel, Kids, Live and United: pop along to your nearest Quench shop and grab one while you can!

Wesley Owen are offering a 25% discount to IDEA Readers: download the July/August 2011 issue here and head for p.13 to get your discount voucher/code: valid in-store or online, expires August 31st.

Use them or lose them: being part of a chain is no guarantee of security for any shop in today’s economic climate; and if you, gentle reader, represent any other Christian bookshop, please feel free to post details of your latest deals in the comments here…

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2 thoughts on “News Roundup: CLC Updates | Farewell to Fools | Jobs at BRF and Eden | Roger Compton leaves TMD | and more…

  1. Lol Phil, I think it’s just a case of being a retailer is no guarantee these days, Chain or Indie!

    So our main offers of the minute to our lovely customers and visitors are:
    Buy 1 Get 1 Half Price on all Christian Fiction,
    our summer madness sale offer of Buy Any 12 Books and Pay for Only 10 of them,
    & on the media front we are doing Buy any 3 DVD’s or CD’s and get a £5.00 Voucher to spend on whatever you like!

    It is sad to hear about more closure’s and redundancies – so it’s very good to hear about CLC relocating in advance and trying to stay ahead of tghe game.

    My only concern with TMDistributions plan (as it has been and is with many others that go this route) is that I know since my rep went, back when it was still STL, I don’t spend anywhere near what I did when I saw him regularly and personally – the truth is there’s a lot to be said about direct human interaction and seeing product in such a way as to allow real time for it and real attention to it 😉

    Still I’m sure they all account for this drop off in the economics of it and that it balances out positively in the end – here’s praying for all involved across the board in Christian Retailling in these times of real hardship and turmoil.

  2. Pingback: CLC London: Celebrating 66 years of Christian bookselling in the nation’s capital « The Christian Bookshops Blog

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