Edinburgh-based David Flatman Ltd, owner of bargain book chains Bookworld, Bargain Books and bw!, has been bought out of administration by specialist books, arts and crafts retailer The Works for an undisclosed sum.
David Flatman entered administration last month, citing competition from supermarkets and the internet as the reason for pre-tax losses of £220k this year. The move sparked fears of some 400 redundancies and the closure of 50 stores, but the deal with The Works will mean 155 jobs and 24 stores will be saved.
Lomond Publishing, the other main division of the failed business, has been bought by its management team and will remain a Scottish-based wholesaler and publisher. Its five staff will be transferred to the new company.
Flatman, established in 1977, has previously achieved a turnover of £30m amid the popularity of cut-price books, now largely dominated by discounted sites and low cost supermarkets.
Tom MacLennan of Tenon, joint administrator of David Flatman, said “The sale of the retail and publishing divisions is excellent news for staff, customers, suppliers and creditors. The deals mean continuity of employment for those staff and a very positive future for the two businesses.”
Chief executive of 300-strong chain The Works, Derek Hine, commented “Bookworld has long been renowned for the quality of its staff and we are pleased to welcome colleagues into the business. At The Works, we are always looking to capitalise on our successful store format by continuing our expansion programme, and this acquisition will enable us to achieve this.”