News Roundup: The it’s-all-been-happening-this-week Edition

IT’S ALL BEEN HAPPENING THIS WEEK: from Thomas Nelson publishing being swallowed up by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to CLC Wholesale announcing plans for a trade website. In the meantime, with the busiest time of year upon us, it’s more important than ever to make the most of every opportunity to connect with customers and to make sure that other sites such as UKCBD and the Good Bookstall that link to yours are up to date: latest news from both below, with much more sandwiched in between:

Bishop's Blog: The Good Bookstall Newsletter

Bishop’s Blog: The Good Bookstall Newsletter

The Good Bookstall Newsletter featured on Bishop’s Blog

CONGRATULATIONS to the Good Bookstall on seeing their latest newsletter featured by twittering Bishop of Huntingdon, the Rt Revd David Thomson, on his blog: The Good BookStall Newsletter.

Like UKCBD, TGB’s mission is supporting Christian bookshops, and the site includes news, reviews (books and music), as well as a bookshops directory. Is your shop listed? Is it up to date? With the busiest time of year upon us, it’s more important than ever to make sure your shop’s details are correct.

See below for a note about UKCBD updates.

Storehouse Watford

Storehouse Watford

It’s Official: Storehouse is the new name for Living Oasis Watford

CONGRATULATIONS to the recently rebranded Living Oasis Watford on their official name change to Storehouse (Watford), formally registered with Companies House this week on Tuesday November 1st, 2011.

Watford was a franchise rather than owned by NCT, which allowed the store to survive the collapse of NCT in August. The only other surviving stores appear to be Inverness, reopened by CLC earlier in the year amidst some controversy but very clearly now the right move by CLC, and Weston-super-Mare, under new ownership as Life WsM.

Sadly neither Leeds nor Liverpool have been successful in taking on the leases dropped by NCT, although Liverpool appear to remain optimistic that something can be achieved. Requests for continuing prayers for all involved have been posted by both groups:

New author Jo Patterson joins Jarom Books

CONGRATULATIONS to Jacques More and Jarom Books on the arrival of new author Jo Patterson. In a brief announcement posted on November 2nd, 2011, Jacques writes:

Jo Patterson, wife of Al and mother of three has written a novel in the Christian fiction genre that speaks into teenage pregnancy issues. This work – as well as being a good read “I’ve cried every time I’ve read it” – will be a valuable resource to equip the local saints in youthwork activity and in all pro-life efforts.
The new title is planned for a launch later in 2012.

No more music CDs after 2012?

ANYONE OUT THERE still got their heads buried in the sand over the impact of digitisation? Then go read this wake-up call from Paul Wilkinson of Canada’s Christian Book Shop Talk:

Christian Book Shop Talk: Music Industry Moving to End CD Format in 2012

Christian Book Shop Talk: Music Industry Moving to End CD Format in 2012

Shop local — anywhere in Europe!

IN WHAT MUST SURELY QUALIFY as one of the most bizarre rulings emerging out of the UK’s commitment to remain in Europe, Graham Allen of Leamington Christian Resource Centre has been advised by one of his school customers that supporting local businesses is classed as discriminatory under EU regulations, which specify that the whole of Europe is now ‘local’:

Hello Graham,
Schools purchasing comes under the remit of the County council and I cannot comment on their policy as I am not familiar with it.

However, you should be aware that Councils and other public bodies are unable to select to purchase on the basis of location as this discriminatory. As much as we would like to do this we have to find other ways to place our business locally – including information events and tender support (all of which the district council does in conjunction with the chamber of commerce). We have had success with this approach on the basis that the more local suppliers that bid the better the chance of us being able to place the business within the district.

The public sector is also bound by EU regulations that have strict thresholds for purchases of goods, services and works, and these also restrict the ability to purchase ‘locally’ as locally is considered to be Europe wide. The threshold levels are not high and relate to commodities over a contract term. This makes it easy for public bodies to breach the regulations unless strict controls are put in place.

Thank heavens for that little loophole at the end: just don’t tell the powers-that-be in Brussels or they’ll no doubt apply their concept of local to all purchases…

Social Media Update

THERE’S RARELY A WEEK GOES BY when I don’t discover yet another Christian bookshop or publisher facebook page to like or twitter feed to follow. Here’s a random snapshot of just some of the Christian bookshops now using facebook to connect with colleagues and customers:

Christian Bookshops on Facebook

Christian Bookshops on Facebook: a random selection from the UKCBD facebook page sidebar – click through to discover more!

Those I’ve stumbled across this week are:

And last but not least: a social media experiment, The UK Christian Bookshops Daily, autogenerated courtesy of @smallrivers from twitter and facebook keyword searches for Christian Bookshop and the UKCBD blog RSS feed. The keyword search isn’t quite as smart as it might be, so don’t be surprised if some content seems out of place: let’s say we’re in beta phase. Best of all, however: the virtual paper system allows me to update the paper on the fly as I come across stories around the web — if you’d like to see your news or website featured, give me a shout here or mention @UKCBD in a tweet.

UKCBD Winter Updates

IT’S ALWAYS A CHALLENGE trying to keep the Directory up to date, but for those who may be wondering, you can now find the 10 most recent updates conveniently listed on the homepage:

Latest Updates (most recent first)
The House on the Rock, Bury Updated 3/11/2011
Storehouse: The new name for Living Oasis, Watford Updated 3/11/2011
The Hub Christian Resource Centre, Walsall Updated 1/11/2011
The Sycamore Tree Christian Bookshop, Nuneaton Updated 31/10/2011
CLC Bookshop, London Updated 30/10/2011
Turning Point Garments Ltd, Bathgate Updated 30/10/2011
Jubilate Christian Bookshop, Stratford-upon-Avon Updated 25/10/2011
Ashburnham Christian Trust Bookshop, Battle Updated 08/10/2011
Glorious Beginnings, Willesden Updated 29/9/2011
The Good Book Shop, Belfast Updated 7/9/2011

If your entry needs updating, please give me a shout. It can take anything from a few days to a few weeks for me to get there, depending on other commitments: please be patient and remember that UKCBD is a 100% voluntary project. In the meantime feel free to leave a comment — or invite your customers to leave feedback — on your entry’s standalone page: simply click through from the main Directory where it says, “Out of Date?” — bottom right of every entry that’s been updated in the last couple of years.

All updated entries now include a facebook ‘Like’ button: reach more people by asking your facebook friends to hit it!

Thank you.

6 thoughts on “News Roundup: The it’s-all-been-happening-this-week Edition

  1. Thanks for spotting David Thomson’s posting and mentioning it here. He’s one of The Goodbookstall’s reviewers. If anyone wants to receive the Goodbookstall newsletter regularly, please e-mail to go on the mailing list. If any shop wants to be in the Goodbookstall Bookshops Directory, please contact As TGBS and UKCBD regularly say it’s good that we work together through our websites to keep the Christian book community informed and supported.

  2. RE: EU Ruling.

    As someone who deals with schools and council purchases on a semi-regular basis, and someone who’s wife is a council employee, this is a very odd interpretation of a rule which isn’t really even a “rule” per-se.

    EU directives do define the whole EU/EEC as “local” for the purposes of VAT etc. which is to say if i Import from or export to europe, I still pay and reclaim VAT as if it were purchased in the UK. These rules exist so that there is a level of freedom of trade which in principal means selling goods across borders—especially on the mainland where, for example, your business may be in france, but are less than a few minutes from the german border, and your nearest suppliers are located there—is not unnecessarily difficult.

    And indeed, thresholds exist to make that even easier…

    However, we still live in a capitalist, not communist society, and everyone, including councils, SHOULD still have the freedom to shop wherever they want. This is not discrimination (IE, We’re not going to shop from you any more because you’re Muslim or Gay) but a business decision. If it is cheaper to import from the EU, then the council may have a legitimate case for choosing to go elsewhere, but to dictate where you can and can’t shop is, frankly, not even implied in these “rules” as far as I understand them.

    Councils are within their rights, I believe, to create lists of “approved suppliers”, as any business would also be, and if central purchasing is part of a particular councils policy, then there may be nothing that you can do about it, except to try and get on your local council’s approved supplier list (as The Hub is), however to try and blame this on “EU Regulations” is, at least to my understanding, nonsense.

    Locality is not discrimination, but, in many cases, a legitimate supply concern, just as price and quality of goods and service would also be. When supply of goods or services is open to tender, it would potentially be discriminatory to refuse specific tenders on the basis of locality, but location can be a legitimate reason to chose one business over another, as long as you can justify it.

    For example, a school would likely only need to say something like “Shop A is located approximately 2 miles from the school. Shop B is located in Germany. Although Shop B is on average 5-10% cheaper, as we need the ability to visit the shop to view items before purchase, we believe that the benefits of Shop A outweigh the cost saving of Shop B and therefore, Shop A has won this tender.”

    I would take the schools words with a pinch of salt, and contact the council directly on this one… anything which opens with “I cannot comment on the councils policy…” and then contains three paragraphs of comments on said policy seems a little odd to me, however, I seriously doubt EU policy has very much to do with this particular decision.

  3. This schools thing is even more potty if we’re talking about the supply of books in English to English schools – how likely would it be for a French, German etc shop or wholesaler to be stocking them?!

    • Exactly.

      It seems to be a very bad interpretation of an EU directive, which always leave plenty of interpretation for member states about how it should be implemented, by a particular council, or a misunderstanding by a particular school rather than anything we should worry about on a wide scale.

      If “Company A” company could provide the exact same or better service for the exact same or better price, offering the exact same products as “Company B”, in an open tender, and a public body chose Company B solely because they were “local” then perhaps, perhaps, it would be a legitimate case for discrimination (though I would argue that part of a local council’s remit is also to secure and protect local jobs and business). However, in what is effectively retail sales, it shouldn’t matter, especially when local knowledge and expertise are factored in, which they should always be for something like books—how can a german supplier advise on the best english RE textbook for the british curriculum?

      • Not to mention that the vast majority of retail purchases are not “open” tenders, but normally just amongst two or three suppliers—often from an approves supplier list—who are approached by the school directly.

        Can you imagine if every purchase any public body made would have to be a completely open tender across the whole EU???

        “We’re down to our last pint of milk. Best put it out to tender… everyones okay with black coffee for the next month right?”

  4. Pingback: UKCBD Winter Updates: a reminder, an update, and a plug for #CRT2012 « The Christian Bookshops Blog

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