Light Shines on in the Darkness as more Redundancies and Shop Closures hit Wesley Owen

Update, 26/1/2011: Official announcements about the closures have now been posted by Wesley Owen: Bath | Bristol (pdfs, identical apart from the store locations and dates of closure)
The Bath Chronicle published a report on Weds 25/1/2012: Christian bookshop closes its doors

NEWS EMERGED YESTERDAY of further redundancies at Wesley Owen as the Bath and Bristol stores closed their doors for the last time; and whilst in certain respects that news — coming so soon after the weekend’s news of more job losses at TMD — might seem beyond worse, all is not yet lost: Richard Greatrex, former manager of the Bath store, has branched out independently with his own venture, Windflower Books.

Describing the project in a welcome message on the company’s newly launched website and blog, Richard writes:

Windflower Books has been in existence since 2007 as a small scale concern selling secondhand and remaindered theological books on the internet, supplying bookstalls for communities and events and publishing small runs of specialist material.

2012 sees a change in the Windflower venture as we seek to supply the needs of individuals, churches and communities in the South West who have lost their own local Christian Bookshops.

From a small start we hope to develop a system of bespoke bookselling tailored to the specific needs of each community we are working with. We are in the process of negotiating our first sites for enhanced bookstalls in local churches. Keep checking our blog, our Facebook page (Windflower Books) or our Twitter feed (windflowerbooks) for further details…

If you live in the South West and would like Richard to provide bookstall services for your church, do give him a shout: full contact details are available on the facebook page; and if you live further away, just hit that facebook Like button anyway to cheer him on.

Richard, I salute you: may the Lord bless you richly in this venture, and may your bookstalls be many and more popular than you can even begin to imagine.

6 thoughts on “Light Shines on in the Darkness as more Redundancies and Shop Closures hit Wesley Owen

  1. God bless you in your venture, Richard and thoughts and prayers for your former colleagues now unemployed and former customers too as they wre also given no real warning of what was to happen.

  2. Very sad news, but great to hear about Richard’s plans. Our thoughts and prayers are with him as he expands Wildflower into this bold new vision.

    Seems to me that Koorong may have been more interested in the brand and online side, rather than the stores themselves. The decision seems to have been made very quickly and with little discussion. Usually this sort of thing is normally preceded by some sort of “If you don’t use us, you’ll lose us” campaign, which was strangely lacking in this case. That Koorong could get out of the leases without affecting the rest of the chain means it must have come at a natural break in the leases there—either a break clause or end of the lease—and the apparent lack of discussion with staff and local churches appears that perhaps the decision was a foregone conclusion.

    Perhaps—and it’s wholly speculation here—the branches Koorong chose to take over were also those with the shortest leases left to run?

    Wonder where that leaves those other stores… Will they find themselves without jobs too once the leases on their respective stores runs out?

    Worrying if true—though as I say, wholly speculative—but even if not, a real tough situation.

  3. Pingback: Microshops: the way forward for the UK’s Christian bookshops? « The Christian Bookshops Blog

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