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Birmingham's Computer Bookshops Ltd goes titsup

Dead tree downturn does for venerable technical bookseller

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Birmingham-based tech book seller Computer Bookshops Ltd has failed to make it out of administration, and is being wound up.

The company had become a fixture since setting up in 1978, and claimed a portfolio of more than 350,000 volumes by the time it had to call in the administrators in February 2014.

Its properties included CBL Distribution (a wholesale operation), the Bookaxis.com online retailer, Web training provider Cblearning.com, as well as its Computermanuals.co.uk outlet.

As the Birmingham Post reported, nearly half its staff were laid off by Grant Thornton administrators David Bennett and Nigel Morrison earlier this year, as they tried to find a buyer for the operation.

In spite of some exclusive deals with publishers, a multi-channel model which gave it a number of other booksellers as customers, and strong direct Web sales, the decline in book sales plus an unnamed-publisher quitting the market left it unable to continue.

The company posted this Tweet confirming that the end has come:

One small ray of sunshine: the company is running a 75 per cent off closing down sale you'll find here. ®

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