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Media wholesaler enters administration 24 February 2014

A Birmingham-based wholesaler and retailer of books, software and digital media has entered administration, resulting in 24 redundancies.

Formed in 1978, Computer Bookshops Limited (CBL) has built a portfolio of over 350,000 titles, but entered administration after a key supplier left the market.

Joint administrators David Bennett and Nigel Morrison, of Grant Thornton, continue to trade the various divisions of CBL with the intention to sale the businesses as going concerns.

The company’s main divisions include wholesaler CBL distribution, online retail sites such as bookaxis.com, web-based training provider cblearning.com, and specialist online outlets such as computermanuals.co.uk.

Shortly following the appointment, 24 job losses occurred, leaving 26 staff to assist the administrators in trading the business.

David Bennett, partner in Grant Thornton’s advisory team in Birmingham, said: “CBL boasts an enviable breadth of customer relationships, with a reputation for service delivery which is second to none in the sector.

“It has a strong online presence, which has seen significant growth in recent years and an expanding range of titles, including business books, lifestyle titles and gaming manuals.

“Unfortunately, due to a key supplier recently pulling out of the books market and deterioration in the High Street book trade, CBL has experienced an overall decline in sales.

“Despite making changes to its business model and achieving growth in certain divisions, CBL has not been able to diversify quickly enough and the directors took the decision to appoint Grant Thornton as administrators.”

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