Aussie Readers discussion

163 views
Archives > Bricks and Mortar Bookshops: What is their future?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 159 (159 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4

message 1: by Jacqueline (last edited Jan 01, 2011 07:20PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I see Borders USA have told publishers that they will have to wait for their money. Things are so bad at the retailer that they have to 'restructure debt' - a euphemism for going around begging to be let off the money they owe. Not at all good for the publishers, especially when you realise that they only get paid if and some months after a retailer actually sells their books.

Does not look good for Borders...


message 2: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (sophie714) God, thats interesting! Wouldn't think that sort of financial strife would occur due to the sheer size and global presence that Border has... hmmm will have to keep an eye on the situation...


message 3: by Mandapanda (last edited Jan 01, 2011 07:31PM) (new)

Mandapanda Yes very worrying for them. It seems they were relying on Xmas sales which weren't up to scratch. Now they're facing bankruptcy or whatever you call it in big business terms. Interesting to note that Borders was one of the slowest bookstores to set up their own ebook store (8 months behind Barnes and Noble and months to years behind Amazon).

I wonder if this has any ramifications for their ereader (the Kobo I think it's called).

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101230/b...


message 4: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I hope this another nail in the coffin of the 'returns' system, that allows book shops to destroy unsold copies of any book without paying a cent to publishers and authors. No other business sector gets this sort of deal.


message 5: by Laura (new)

Laura | 4299 comments Jacqueline wrote: "I hope this another nail in the coffin of the 'returns' system, that allows book shops to destroy unsold copies of any book without paying a cent to publishers and authors. No other business sector..."
Whhhaaat? They can destroy the unsold copies..damn that is harsh.

Never knew Borders was having so much trouble overal.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Carmel wrote: "How big is Borders in Aust? I also worry about those that are potentially going to loss their jobs when businesses shut their doors if that's what will eventuate."

Borders Australia is owned by a completely different company - REDgroup Retail - they also own some of the Angus & Robertson stores, the Supanews chain and a New Zealand bookstore chain as well.

No idea how big they are but I have seen REDgroup mentioned as having financial troubles too over the past few months. I don't think it's quite as bad as in the US but that's because they don't have as much competition from bricks & mortar stores here - still if the number of people on the bus using Book Depository bookmarks keeps going up the way I noticed last year it won't be long before they go under too. They simply won't be able to compete with online unless they do something about their pricing.

As for the issue of the 'returns' system I agree it is pretty grim to see books being destroyed like they do with unsold books. But the alternative would not be any better from an authors' point of view as the stores simply wouldn't order the books in the first place and the print runs would be even smaller than they are now. It's likely there'd be even more of a contraction of the market into selling just the big/established names. Print on Demand seems like it might be a viable alternative in the coming couple of years as the technology improves


message 7: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Bernadette,

On the issue of returns, I bet Big W have negotiated a cheap purchase that does not include returns and they pass it on to shoppers, more or less. The book trade shows Australia's product distribution system at its Victorian best, with inefficient tribes of middlemen making conmfortable livings, courtesy of a public that does not realise what is going on.

Sure bookshops like to 'borrow' books from distributors and pay for them 30-90 days after the books are actually sold, but some-one has to bear the cost of that. Guess who it is - the reader. The current shake-up in the trade is happening because dedicated readers find they can get their books more cheaply overseas, and they are voting with their feet.

However, not everything is doom and gloom. POD production has progressed to the point where a publisher no longer has to risk printing thousands or tens of thousands of copies of a book in order to get started. He can now order an economical short run for sales and publicity purposes, and follow up by printing whatever he manages to sell, whenever it is needed. Now the challenge is for the distribution/sales part of the trade to manage on perhaps half of the 70% cut of the RRP that they take now.

If they don't, our bookstores will degenerate into a few shelves at the back of the newsagents selling remaindered American trash.


message 8: by Geoff (new)

Geoff Woodland | 313 comments http://www.redgroupretail.com/

try the above link


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Jacqueline wrote: "Bernadette,

On the issue of returns, I bet Big W have negotiated a cheap purchase that does not include returns and they pass it on to shoppers, more or less"


I suppose they do pass on their 'savings' but Big W haven't sold a book I want to read in 15 years. For the most part they sell established names and the vast bulk are from the US/UK (Bryce Courtenay and so-called biographies of football and cricket stars being the most notable exceptions). It's easy to sell books at huge discounts when you buy them by the container load but they never sell mid-list or debut authors (unless of course you've won a reality TV show in which case they'll have a container load of those as well).

But I agree with you on POD - I think it probably is the way of the future, I just wish the future was now.


message 10: by Justin (new)

Justin South (justinsouth) | 43 comments Another dinosaur about to hit the dust...


message 11: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 71663 comments Mod
Jacqueline wrote: "Bernadette,

On the issue of returns, I bet Big W have negotiated a cheap purchase that does not include returns and they pass it on to shoppers, more or less. The book trade shows Australia's pro..."


Big W does returns by receiving a list of books that has to go back to the publisher, monthly I think. As for Mills & Boon books, the covers are ripped off, books trashed, and the covers are sent back to publisher. Big W receives credit for returned books.


message 12: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Well, there you are, Brenda. I was wrong, but I am surprised at any distributor allowing a supermarket a deal that includes returns. They are a millstone around the industry's neck and supermarkets of all people are used to dumping unsold stock. Why Big W is permitted to treat a book differently to a blouse escapes me.


message 13: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Went into the big Borders bookshop at Myers Chermside in Brisbane on Monday. About 1/2 of the store is now gift/stationery stuff (not books). It used to only be about 1/4 giftware. Only one very young guy seemed to be serving in the whole store (I don't know how young kids can be these days to get a job). I asked him to look up a book for me and he asked me how to spell 'chronicles'. Nothing against the young kid but for me that just illustrated the downhill slide of the company.


message 14: by Jacqueline (last edited Feb 05, 2011 08:08PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) The Chronicles of Narnia? The Spiderwick Chronicles? The Flash Chronicles? Chronicles of a Death Foretold? I wonder which sort of chronicle our Mandy was looking for?

Ah - I have it - The Cat Star Chronicles. You naughty girl - don't you know how embarrassed young boys can get when mature ladies ask them to look up books like that?


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Mandy wrote: "Went into the big Borders bookshop at Myers Chermside in Brisbane on Monday. About 1/2 of the store is now gift/stationery stuff (not books)."

Ours too - and where the gift stuff used to be vaguely book related the stuff in there now seems to be a random collection of 'stuff'. Cooking utensils, baby clothes and cheapo gadgets that look like they're normally sold in half-hour infomercials at 2:00am. I'm finding it hard to imagine the store still being there this time next year.


message 16: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Jacqueline wrote: "The Chronicles of Narnia? The Spiderwick Chronicles? The Flash Chronicles? Chronicles of a Death Foretold? I wonder which sort of chronicle our Mandy was looking for?

Ah - I have it - The Cat St..."


LOL - Caught me Jacq!;)


message 17: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 3 comments "...the stuff in there now seems to be a random collection of 'stuff'. Cooking utensils, baby clothes and cheapo gadgets that look like they're normally sold in half-hour infomercials at 2:00am...."

Sounds like Borders is becoming an Australian Post Office???


message 18: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Maggie wrote: Sounds like Borders is becoming an Australian Post Office???...."

LOL!


message 19: by Mandapanda (last edited Feb 14, 2011 10:02PM) (new)

Mandapanda Article from the Book Bee website.

What Borders’s Impending Bankruptcy Means for Australia, and Paper Books

"Here we go. The first very large book chain is about to file their chapter 11 – bankruptcy to you and I – in the US. Borders was very late in the game to get onboard the ebook bandwagon, a long way behind Barnes & Noble, and their Nook (who are doing quite nicely, thank you).

Anyone else get the same feeling that you go 8-10 years ago when music monoliths were shrinking and merging uder a similar digital paradigm shift?

The Wall Street Journal reports today that those in the know expect the bankruptcy filing from Borders any day.

The report states:

A bankruptcy filing by Borders Group Inc., which could come within days, will mean fewer places for consumers to buy books, which in turn is expected to speed the pace of online and e-book sales.

Borders has been putting the finishing touches on a store-closure program that could eliminate more than one-third of its 674 stores as part of a Chapter 11 restructuring, according to people familiar with the matter.

“Once physical shelf space is gone, it’s gone forever,” says Mark Coker, chief executive of Smashwords Inc., an e-book publishing and distribution platform based in Los Gatos, Calif. “If you remove books from our towns and villages and malls, there will be less opportunity for the serendipitous discovery of books. And that will make it tougher to sell books.”


The story goes on to speculate that the news can only accelerate ebook uptake, which is certainly true. It’s a no-brainer and it will happen for several reasons, the main one being “confidence”.

What a broke Borders means for physical books globally
As global financial markets have seen recently, confidence takes a long time to build, and can come crashing down in an instant. When bankruptcy rumours start swirling, let alone the filing of papers, confidence evaporates from consumers (will I get books that I buy from these guys?) suppliers (will I get paid?), and advertisers (Am I wasting my money with these guys?)

This is why it’s very hard to come back from this position. Let’s be clear: Borders aren’t dead yet, but they’ll reportedly a step closer, and If they were teetering, this news will push them over.

Worse than confidence about Borders itself, this news will erode confidence around the world about paper books in general, and paper as a delivery system for stories, I’m not saying that the book market will collapse overnight, or even in a decade, but it’s only going to go south from here in the long-term. And The more stories like this that we see, the faster it will slump.

Investors backing p-book chains, investors improving distribution systems for physical books, paper suppliers and sellers,

And the worse news for the physical book industry – news like this gets picked up and repeated around the world, outside the techie, geek world. It was on breakfast TV news in Australia this morning – on Sunrise for those in Oz. This starts to get people who don’t know what an ebook is, or haven’t even considered buying a Kindle, to start to understand that there is an alternative to paper books. Danger, danger, Will Robinson.

Again, no-one’s saying that paper books are dead, but they’ve officially caught a cold.

What a broke Borders (US) means in Australia
Borders.com.au will be hating this. A lot. They aren’t tied to the US chain in anything more than name, but a little bit of mud has to stick. In these days of branding, using someone else’s brand is a double-edged sword.

Not that Borders AU hasn’t had it’s share of financial strife. It’s owner, REDGroup Retail, was under financial pressure with creditors as recently as late last year, and when they announced a $43m loss, making a filing to the NZ stock exchange that made lots of people nervous. Then there was a round of redundancies in November. More nerves.

There’s that concept again – confidence.

Or a lack of it. And it’s catching."


message 20: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 3 comments I've noticed that once confidence goes out of particular market it can mean trouble for business. But you'd think that, when buying a book ie you pay the cash and the book is yours, that confidence wouldn't come in to it so much. But then again.....I guess that's why I'm a nurse and not an accountant.


message 21: by Jacqueline (last edited Feb 16, 2011 11:30PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) My tiny view of the book trade in Oz suggests that it can not continue like this. My ebook prices are the same around the world (~$5), out of which I make 25-40%. Because of our ridiculous book distribution system, I struggle to make any profit from a paperback version with a $30 sales price, and it is displayed in the shop next to dumped US and UK books going for $7 or 3 for $20. Some of those books are nearly as good as mine (I have seen authors like Graham Greene and Patrick O'Brian in the el cheapo bin), so I can't blame readers for grabbing the chance.

eBooks are taking over the general fiction market in the Us, so can Oz be far behind?


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

REDgroup which owns Borders and Angus & Robertson has gone into administration today - legally there's no relationship to the situation in America with Borders but the story makes it clear there are links in terms of publishing industry factors affecting both companies

More atThe Age

Will be fascinating to see what happens next.


message 23: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Oh s*#@! I do hope my friendly A&R in Stocklands, Cairns is not caught out here. He runs a franchise and is very close to his customers.


message 24: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Such a shame for all the franchise owners and employees! It's a really different market place for bookshops these days. I think physical bookstores will be more about specialty books and the cafe/bookstore feel.


message 25: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (ellen-jay) | 17 comments i refuse to use e-readers. and when i am forced to i'll still be kicking and screaming. you cant display your ebooks or take pride in their condition *shakes head* nope i refuse to have anything to do with books and reading thats electronic. its un-natural. my eyes hate me enough as it is for the amount of time i spend staring at screens.


message 26: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (kwakwa) | 2 comments It's horrible to think that in the not so distant future physical books are going to be more difficult to get. I realise ereaders are very convenient but there's something wonderful about picking up a book you've read a hundred times, the smell and the feeling in your hands, I hope that's not something future generations miss out on.


message 27: by Ellen (new)

Ellen (ellen-jay) | 17 comments Jessica wrote: "...there's something wonderful about picking up a book you've read a hundred times, the smell and the feeling in your hands, I hope that's not something future generations miss out on."

Me too. i went into Dymocks today (before i knew about all this strife) and the first thing i said to my friend was "ahh the smell of books. its the best!" the guy behind us probably thought i was a weirdo but im ok with that :P


message 28: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) And I love old wine, but I'm afraid I have to make do with cheap plonk (and keep the special bottles for special occasions).


message 29: by Mandapanda (last edited Feb 18, 2011 12:49PM) (new)

Mandapanda Obviously the editorials in book news this weekend will be all about Borders/A&R collapse. I'll post a few of them here. As usual check out the comments, they are often better than the article itself!

From the Weekend Australian:

What’s wrong with bookstores?

News that the owner of bookstore chains Angus and Robertson and Borders has gone into voluntary administration is getting a lot of attention today, much of it of the ‘death of the bookshop’ and ‘last rites for reading’ nature.

Some booksellers are running hard with the idea that it’s all the guvment’s fault - hardly a novel idea that - for refusing to lift the parallel importation restrictions on books. I’m sure that is a factor but I’m not sure it’s as big a factor as some make out.

It may be worth asking - and I’m sure the corporate doctors will check this out - whether the A&R and Borders book chains - ultimately owned by an investment firm, Pacific Equity Partners - were being well run. When asking why any business has gone bad, bad business decisions must be a possibility. Might it be that the books that will really tell this story are REDgroup’s financial ledgers?

Indeed the more I think about this story, the more I think that all the factors I talk about in that comment piece - the GFC, online booksellers, e-books, the high dollar, the parallel import rule - are all just pressures that make the business environment tough for bookstores. But all businesses face pressures and the job of management is to navigate them successfully. To adapt if needs be, the think outside the box and so on. And not to blame someone else.

I note that the MD of Dymocks, Don Grover, says in the Fairfax press today that yes conditions are tough but his company “is not under financial duress’’.

And a point on the parallel import debate - one joint that has no restrictions whatsoever, has an open slather market for books - is New Zealand, which is a big part of REDgroup’s business, via the Whitcoulls chain.

So, here’s what I think will happen in the short term: the recievers will close some Angus and Robertson and Borders stores and people will lose their jobs, which is terrible. But the A&R and Borders chains will not vanish. And well run bookstores will fill the gap and may well increase their market share.

Indeed, this could be a great time to be a canny independent bookstore operator. Read more.


message 30: by Mandapanda (last edited Feb 18, 2011 01:08PM) (new)

Mandapanda This article from the Crikey blog questions whether the loss of bricks and mortar bookshops reflects a loss of the 'shop' altogether in this digital, on-line age:

Rundle: the beginning of the end of bookshops

"The current troubles of the US Borders books group in the US — the chain is expected to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy very soon, and continue trading after closing around 200 of its nearly 700 stores – is being taken as a harbinger of the problems being faced by bookstores of the Amazon age.

The US Borders group is currently the second-largest chain (after Barnes and Noble, who may buy up much of its discarded inventory), and its aggressive loss-leader expansion in its early years wiped out many mid-range general purpose independent bookstores. Now many mid-size towns have only a Borders and will be without a bookshop when it goes.

In the UK, Borders collapsed almost overnight in 2008, and shuttered its doors, leaving Waterstones (owned by HMV), as the only surviving chain (both had scarfed up smaller chains such as Books Etc and Ottakers in the past decade).

Now HMV is in trouble, its CD/DVD stores division facing huge losses, with 60 stores — including 12 Waterstones — closing. Since HMV is the last CD/DVD chain, it marks the end, in many towns, of a main street place, to buy mainstream product.

So it should be obvious what is happening: these events mark not merely the beginning of the end of bookshops or record stores, but the end of the shop as we have known it – as the default recourse for purchase, a position it has occupied since the city-states era of Mesopotamia.

It’s part of a more radical shift in the whole nature of space and social life that is occurring due to the spread of online existence, and one whose radical impact we have barely begun to reflect on." Read more.

P.S. I've just changed the title of this GR discussion thread so we can discuss bricks & mortar bookstores in general and not just Borders. Sorry to the original poster!;)


message 31: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Well, yes, we may be talking about the end of bookstores as we know them. That is, large comfortable chains who want the dominance of the supermarkets and the profit margins of a boutique. Ain't working, folks, and the only question is what will replace them?

In countries with a civilised distribution chain, I would guess the retail trade will be dominated by small owner-operated shops ordering their books from whichever distributor gives the best price and service. Who needs the structure of an A&R? Collins manage well enough without it, and there is probably more that can be done down that road. Expect rapid developments in the Aussie market (starting in a decade or two).


message 32: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3071 comments Good news? it was my birthday last week, and I got $300 worth of giftvouchers.
Bad news? Those vouchers are for Borders and Angus and Robinson.

So I can still spend them, as long as I buy another book of the saem value. So to use my $300 vouchers, I have to pay $600.
Its like $600 worth of books for half price. Hard to explain.
But I went on an expensive book spree today. Eight books for me, two for my brother, three for my mum, still $100 ($200) left to spend!


message 33: by Laura (new)

Laura | 4299 comments @Jessica- That voucher or vouchers actually sound rather harsh with their terms. It's a way getting you to spend much more money and in some ways it doesn't even seem as if it's a 'voucher'. :/


(that's if i understood that correctly)


message 34: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda I think it's because the company is in receivership. I saw something about it on the news last night. It's either the above deal that they offered Jessica or you submit your voucher to the receivership company to try and recoup some of the money.


message 35: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 71663 comments Mod
Yes, that's correct Mandy. I think it's a terrible thing to do to people with gift vouchers, there would be a heck of a lot of people who can't afford to do what Jessica had to do, and will lose out all round!


message 36: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 71663 comments Mod
But hey Jessica...you got lots of yummy new books..:D


message 37: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3071 comments @ Brenda-yeah, I did get loads of nice books. It was kinda cool, the whole attitude was like: BUY LOTS OF BOOKS RIGHT NOW! I picked up some good ones. Im especially excited for The Forest of Hands and Teeth (isnt that the most amazing book title!?!)

@Carmel-thank you :) haha, sorry VIP. Maybe next year?


message 38: by Belinda (new)

Belinda | 5 comments Hi guys,
I actually work for A&R, in a Sydney store.. I'm just a casual staff member, but some questions I might be able to answer...
With the franchise owners, as far as we were told (I work for a company store), they should still be operating, but under a different name and not paying a commission to the company. But this may be wrong/changed... We're being fed a lot of information, they're going into damage control PR-wise.
So far, at least 3 Sydney stores are closing/have closed. I'm not entirely sure about other states though. For Sydney, Macarthur Square (my store) closed for the last time yesterday, Hurstville (the store I got transferred to not even a week ago) will be gone in 5 weeks or so, give or take, and I think Mt Druitt is going too. We have no word on the rest of the stores, that's up to the Administrators I think.
So effectively, I've lost my job twice. Other staff have been working for the company for 43 years and now have nothing.
It makes me so sad, not even for my job, but just to see the name go down, and the impending death of books... I'm in my teens, but I hate the idea of ebooks. So much for tech savvy =P
If you have a gift card, we're all really sorry. We think it's terrible, but we have no control. I would spend it now, if you have the money to double it. Things are changing so quickly, and I'd hate to think that in a weeks time we won't be able to honour them at all. If not, go in against the company as a creditor, but even that has no guarantee.
Please don't take out frustration on the staff, we've had enough =( never had such a terrible weekend at work in my life.


message 39: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Bella wrote: "Hi guys,
I actually work for A&R, in a Sydney store.. I'm just a casual staff member, but some questions I might be able to answer...
With the franchise owners, as far as we were told (I work for..."


Poor Bella! I really feel sorry for you. I hope they can keep some stores open but I guess it depends on the franchisees as well if they have enough money to take over the stores freehold. I hope you find a new job soon. Thanks for your good advice to go easy on staff. We understand that it's a difficult time for you guys and vouchers can't be honoured when a company goes into receivership.:(


message 40: by Jacqueline (last edited Feb 20, 2011 01:28PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Poor Bella. The statements in the papers seem much more real when you meet one of the people directly affected. I wish that some of the big wheels were feeling the same way, but it wasn't their fault, it's just a job, I've got enough put by etc etc


message 41: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (andreakhost) Bella wrote: "Hi guys,
It makes me so sad, not even for my job, but just to see the name go down, and the impending death of books... I'm in my teens, but I hate the idea of ebooks. ..."


While bricks & mortar stores are being hit by the shift to internet retail, paper books aren't going to go away any time soon.


message 42: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Andrea wrote: "While bricks & mortar stores are being hit by the shift to internet retail, paper books aren't going to go away any time soon..."

I agree Andrea. It seems like everyone's using ereaders these days when you spend time in these online reading groups but I don't know anyone in my circle of friends/relatives besides me that has an ereader. Also most people I talk to say they prefer the feel of pbacks.


message 43: by Jacqueline (last edited Feb 20, 2011 04:12PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I agree that paperbacks will not disappear soon. In fact they will be around in some form far into the future.

Look at this though; if I read a book a week, bought in Australian stores, I might spend $1250 per year. If I bought ebooks, the same reading pleasure can be had for $250 (all round figures). The economic drive is on the side of ebooks. Of course, if you want to give a present, you are much more likely to buy a real book. I don't suppose cookery ebooks would sell so well, but fiction, history, politics, economics, all are much cheaper by ebook, quite apart from any other advantage.

So, where to with paper copies? Will we see book shops turning into something like gift stores, where you go for that special purchase?

Before you say "Oh, there'll always be real books, so there will be real book shops", think about fountain pens, cigarette lighters and watches. They used to be mainstream items. Now you buy pens and lighters at the newsagents, and watches just about anywhere.

Unless you are talking about the luxury end of the market, where there is a viable boutique trade.


message 44: by Mandapanda (last edited Feb 21, 2011 01:54PM) (new)

Mandapanda Great blogpost by Joel Blacklock from the Boomerang Books website:

What the Failure of REDgroup Means for Ebooks in Australia

"Anyone who follows book news cannot have failed to hear about the collapse of REDgroup’s Borders and Angus & Robertson bookchains last week. But what does this mean for ebooks? Depending on who you listen to ebooks are one of the causes of REDgroup’s slide into administration. But is this true? Are ebooks destroying the common dead tree bookseller? And did video kill the radio star? Read on to find out more.

For those who don’t know, Kobo is a Canadian ebook platform that partnered with Borders in the United States, and Borders/A&R in Australia. As I said back at Christmas, it may not have been the brightest move on Kobo’s part to tie themselves so closely to Borders, but they did. And that means that even though Kobo is not REDgroup, they will suffer some of the consequences of the collapse, including the withdrawal of books by some publishers from their joint library.

Although I’ve complained about the Kobo ereader and their flaky platform before, they were the only real competitor to Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem and Apple’s iBookstore. They were unique in Australia because their partnership with Borders brought them mainstream, nationwide legitimacy and a physical retail presence – something neither Apple nor Amazon can compete with. From all reports this partnership has been relatively successful – it was one of the few areas of their business that REDgroup wasn’t entirely bungling. This is part of the reason why ebooks cannot be blamed for the collapse: like it or not ebooks are still only about 1% of the industry here in Australia – and REDgroup had already carved themselves a healthy chunk of that 1%. While that number is growing very fast, ebooks are not putting booksellers out of business just yet.

No, what destroyed REDgroup was incompetence and greed. While various pundits have tried to blame parallel importation, the GST, and even the internet as a whole – the fact of the matter is that REDgroup are the only Australian bookseller currently under administration. And while plenty of booksellers are struggling, they haven’t had fraught relationships with suppliers for the last twelve months, and they haven’t been jacking the prices of their books up over RRP. And they haven’t been selling barbecues instead of books." Read more.


message 45: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 71663 comments Mod
Thanks for the info Bella...all the very best for your future..:)


message 46: by Maggie (new)

Maggie | 3 comments Such a sad situation Bella. How horrible to be in the middle of it all. And I agree with you - there is absolutely no point in taking it out on the staff.

With all the talk about book stores closing, little stores being taken over by bigger stores, then bigger stores going under (which surely means that the little stores could have stayed open after all) I keep thinking of that Meg Ryan film where she owns a little bookstore which is taken over by a large one.

What a shame we cant keep the enormous multinationals out of our country - not just in book stores but in most retail (and other areas too). You could walk into a shopping mall anywhere and not know where you are = they are all identical.

Where are the individual family owned businesses??


message 47: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 71663 comments Mod
http://www.theherald.com.au/news/nati...

This is an article in The Newcastle Herald...


message 48: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Brenda wrote: "http://www.theherald.com.au/news/nati... This is an article in The Newcastle Herald..."

Interesting Brenda. That's a huge amount of debt! I remember about 3 years ago when I was buying paperback books I used to try and get onto their webpage to purchase online but it was always extremely slow (if it opened at all) and eventually I just gave up. Although being such a big store they used to have a great range. Shame for the staff etc that this has happened.


message 49: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 71663 comments Mod
Yes, there is another article in today's paper, written by the owners of one of our privately owned little bookstores, which I tried to find online, to put a link up, but couldn't, so I'm going to have another go later. Hopefully I can do it, cos it's a great little article.


message 50: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Looking forward to it Brenda


« previous 1 3 4
back to top