SPCK have announced that their entire bookshop chain is being sold to St Stephen the Great Charitable Trust (SSG), continuing to operate as SPCK Bookshops (under licence) by SSG, with a commitment to maintenance of their breadth in stock-holding.
2006 has pretty much been an annus horribilis for the SPCK bookshop chain. The year started with the announcement that SPCK had entered into talks with Send The Light (STL) regarding a merger.
That potential marriage ended in disaster when the talks were called off in April and the resulting hasty announcement from the SPCK management that all the bookshops were to close. I commented via this blog on the situation at the time.
The manager concerned who made the announcement of closure was promptly cut adrift by his board and is no longer with SPCK. Apparently, they have been busying themselves finding an alternative buyer and now SSG have emerged from what I doubt was much of a pack.
I am sure that SPCK staff everywhere have welcomed the news of a buyer but perhaps with some nervousness for what the future holds. Personally, I share that nervousness much as I welcome a potential light at the end of their tunnel. As I commented before, SPCK are often the only Christian presence in our town shopping areas and the Christian ‘scene’ in this country would be significantly different if they were to disappear.
Ultimately, this takeover announcement raises more questions for me than it answers: