I am sure many of you have been following with great interest the fall of REDgroup. And as a result, things are not looking pretty for the Borders chain in Australia or our largest book retailer, Angus & Robertson.
I can remember just how excited I was when the first Borders store opened in Brisbane. As a consumer of poetry in this city, it provided a much needed avenue for the purchase of quality poetry, much of which, the independents were not stocking. Since that time (and particularly during the last 5-years), I have watched stocks dissipate and prices rise… the initial buzz of the place, long gone. Thankfully, many of the independents – Riverbend Books, Avid Reader & Folio - have stepped up and their poetry sections have become more dynamic, though it must be said, there is room for improvement, as they are a far cry from Sydney based independent, gleebooks.
A rise in online sales and the much debated parallel importing of books have been blamed for the demise of REDgroup, but for mine, there has to be more to it than that… with that in mind, this article is well worth reading:
Let’s hope that immediate job cut backs are not the first course of action, but with the news that customers have been told that they must spend double the amount of any outstanding vouchers to redeem their value, I am far from confident.
Sad times indeed…