The end of Borders and Angus & Robertson

If you’re in Australia, you have no doubt heard by now that REDGroup Retail, the company that owns the Borders and Angus & Robertson bookstore chains, has gone bust. In one fell swoop, 20% of the retail book market has just disappeared in smoke (well, it will disappear soon, particularly given the bad PR I heard today surrounding customers trying and failing to redeem gift cards).

Instead of going into detail about the demise of these major bookstore players, I’ll point you to these articles:

Leo Shanahan at The Punch and former pollie and Dymocks board member Bob Carr pointing to territorial copyright/parallel imports as the culprit [to which I cry *bullshit!* – a classic straw man argument and completely overlooking REDGroup’s mismanagement and inability to change with the times, particularly in light of the rise of ebooks].

James Thomson at SmartCompany with 10 lessons from the collapse. Thomson’s article is a much better summation.

Rather than dissecting all of this further, I’ve asked the most astute bookstore manager in the country, Chuck McKenzie, to contribute an article to this blog as a companion piece to his ‘Grand Conversation’ on ebooks guest post. Keep an eye out for Chuck’s article here soon!

3 Comments

  1. Vicki says:

    “…to which I cry *bullshit!* – a classic straw man argument and completely overlooking REDGroup’s mismanagement and inability to change with the times, particularly in light of the rise of ebooks.”

    Couldn’t agree more! Ditto re the GST argument.

  2. […] mentioned a couple of days ago that two of Australia’s major book chains – Angus & Robertson and Borders (both run […]

  3. […] old issue, but I bring it up for two reasons. As Shane mentioned in his post about the REDgroup failure, Bob Carr, on the board of Dymocks, claims it was keeping to parallel importation restrictions that […]

%d bloggers like this: