Friday, February 18, 2011

Borders, Angus & Robertson, Whitcoulls hit wall

While I had no intended to post again today, I did want to formally record an event of historic significance although it has been recorded elsewhere.

Yesterday  it was reported that REDgroup had called in administrators. The group owns Borders in Australia, Angus & Robertson, whose corporate history in Australia dates back to 1886 when David Angus and George Robertson opened a bookshop in Sydney and New Zealand-based Whitcoulls. Whitcoulls is of even older vintage: it was originally named Whitcombe & Tombs after its founders joined their businesses in 1882.

I will write a proper post later. I don't buy books on line. Even so, my book purchases had more than halved because the stores in question stopped carrying books that I was interested in in their focus on mass sales.

I accept that there is a commercial conflict between a smaller, high turnover stock and a broader slower turnover range, some of which may never sell. Even so, my feeling is that there is a fundamental flaw in the commercial model being followed by so many book stores.

More on that later.  

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