British Bookshops & Stationers, the book chain that collapsed last week, has made 40 redundancies as it gears up for a Sale this weekend.

25 staff have been axed at head office and 15 in the warehouse, according to administrators Zolfo Cooper, which added that the weekend Sale was not a closing down Sale.

Simon Appell, Zolfo Cooper partner, said the redundancies were made “to protect the business and maintain its viability for potential buyers” but added it was an “unfortunate and difficult decision”.

Zolfo Cooper said: “Expressions of interest have been received from potential buyers and the joint administrators are vigorously pursuing these at present.”

Appell said: “At this time, we would simply like to thank every member of staff for their professionalism, patience and dedication during what has been a difficult period.”

All stores will continue to trade, and no store staff have been made redundant.

Retail Week revealed today that managing director John Simpson is thought to be mulling a management buy out of the business to ensure its survival.