Thursday, 3 January 2008

Mark Brewer asks for website changes

Mark Brewer of the St Stephen the Great Trust has written to Phil Groom of the UK Christian Bookshops Directory asking that some information be removed from his website. From the UK Christian Bookshops Directory News page:

Dear Sir,

I write to request that you kindly remove the following from your website which I was most shocked and disappointed to read when perusing it today:

"Unfortunately the shops have suffered under their new management to the point where many staff have felt unable to work under the new regime and have left. Some shops have apparently closed down; of those remaining, opening times, stock availability and levels of customer service are in a state of flux and may not be as expected: prospective customers would therefore be wise to phone ahead before visiting.

Previous shop descriptions have been removed and SSG have been invited to provide up to date details; they have not yet responded: information about the shops shown here may or may not be valid. Updates on the situation will be posted in UKCBD News Section as and when information becomes available."

This information is completely wrong. I totally disagree that the shops have not suffered under Saint Stephen the Great. Whether or not you feel otherwise, the facts are strongly to the contrary: the Truro shop and all the 22 other shops SSG acquired in 2006 have continued to be in operation and their trading is thriving - especially considering negative comments such as on this webpage!

Another fact: had SSG not agreed to take them over on November 1, 2006, Truro and the other 22 shops formerly owned by SPCK would have "suffered" closure by the end of 2006.

I am unaware of being contacted to "provide up to date details." I can assure you that the Truro shop is open and is going to remain open including after December 24 when our manager puts in his last day of service. The hours of operation are not in flux, as he can attest (he is after all the manager).

So, please do remove these two unhelpful and incorrect comments.

Thank you.

J. Mark Brewer
Chairman and CEO
Saint Stephen the Great LLC
(Message dated 17th December 2007)

Also: My recent story about the church sold to SSG for £100 requires some more investigation. It appears that the St Cuthberts Gateshead church situation may not be as it first appeared. More when I know it.

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