December 1-15, 2004 Edition

Blackwell’s May Sell

Retail Book Stores,

As Competition Mounts

OXFORD, ENGLAND/11/19/04—Blackwell Ltd. is considering the sale of all or some of its 61 bookstores in the U.K., according to an article November 19 by Associated Press.

Early next year, the company will review several offers from parties interested in acquiring all or part of the retail division. The company, however, would retain its Blackwell Book Services, which supplies libraries worldwide, and also its publishing division. .

The possibility of selling was motivated by “changing market dynamics and increasing consolidation,” according to Chairman and CEO Philip Blackwell. Larger chains, such as Borders Group, Inc. and Waterstone’s, with better wholesale buying power and the ability to offer customers’ discounts, are posing new competition for Blackwell’s.