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!
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