Dozens of jobs have been axed after a Birmingham-based digital book retailer collapsed into administration.

A total of 24 of the 50 staff at Computer Bookshops in Sparkhill have lost their jobs after administrators from Grant Thornton were called in.

They are continuing to trade the business, which is a wholesaler and retailer of books, software and digital media, while they look for a buyer.

The company, which was formed in 1978, has various divisions including wholesaler CBL Distribution, online retail sites, such as, web-based training provider and specialist online outlets, such as

CBL has built a portfolio of more than 350,000 titles and developed a number of exclusive arrangements with publishers. The business operates on a multi-channel basis, selling to centralised retailers and distributors, web retailers and direct to consumers.

David Bennett and Nigel Morrison of Grant Thornton UK were appointed as joint administrators on February 18.

Mr 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.”

It hit hard times as the result of a major supplier pulling out of the books market recently and a general deterioration in the high street book trade leading to a decline in its sales, he added.

“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.”

On appointment, 24 redundancies were made at Computer Bookshops, with the remaining 26 employees assisting the administrators to continue to trade the business.