Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Christian values - what values?

I see from The Bookseller that troubled Christian book seller SSPK (St Stephen the Great) has closed two of its branches - in Canterbury and Cambridge, albiet temporarily. Chairman Mark Brewer told The Bookseller that the company has had to carry out “cost cutting” in order to safeguard the rest of the chain. “As we move into the second month of 2008, some of the SSG bookshops have experienced the same reduced footfall and sales as most every other bookseller and high street retailer,” he said. “In some of our locations for the good of the overall chain, we have had to take the decision of cost-cutting. We have temporarily closed Canterbury and Cambridge and intend to reopen both after re-fitting and re-stocking these shops. We have other locations slated either for reduced operating hours, temporary closure or permanent closure.” Rumour has it that Worcester and Bradford may be next in line, although Brewer was unable to confirm that.

As previously reported on this blog, and no doubt countless other sites, brothers Phil and Mark Brewer took control of the business in 2006, changing the chain's identify from a more liberal agenda to a decidedly orthordox one, and managing to antagonise most of their staff in the process. Since then they have faced resignations from many of their branches - in some cases with the entire staff walking out, and from what I understand, people are not exactly queuing up to fill these vacancies. I wonder why that could be? Could it be something to do with the fact that these orthordox Christian values have been largely rejected by the general populace as not relevant to every day life, and what I ask myself, can the two brothers learn from this tale of woe - to use the carrot perhaps instead of the stick? Until they learn this, then I fear that nothing will change, and I for one would not be surprised if we are reading about the chain's demise before too long.

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