[LINK] ebook impact on Australian bookstores

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Thu Aug 12 10:22:16 AEST 2010

 From Publishers Weekly:
>More Concerns about Australia/New Zealand Bookselling Giant
>We noted in late July that RedGroup--the dominant bookseller in 
>Australia and New Zealand under the Whitcoulls, Angus & Robertson 
>and Borders ANZ operations--was talking to its lenders about getting 
>a waiver from an expected breach of their borrowing covenants. (Even 
>so, they were reportedly projecting ebitda of approximately $25 
>million AU for their fiscal year ending in late August.)
>A new story in Crikey cites industry sources whom claim the group 
>"has been forced to jack up prices, increase returns and extend 
>trading terms with its suppliers." One anonymous publisher says the 
>chains have asked for 120 days to pay, "which nobody is prepared to 
>give them," cutting fall press runs by as much as 30 percent instead.
>Publisher of Bookseller+Publisher Tim Coronel says the group 
>recently finished a "big return push" prior to the end of their 
>fiscal year. "The admission they made recently is telling, because 
>they definitely have a big debt burden. RedGroup are playing it 
>down, saying it may have been overplayed. But they're definitely 
>under pressure."
>RedGroup spokesperson Malcolm Neil says, "We're a sale or return 
>business. When you are in a tough market everyone has to share the 
>pain." He adds, "retail across the board is really struggling. 
>You've got to work harder for every dollar of sales than ever before."
>Like Barnes & Noble and Indigo, the group is spending to promote the 
>Kobo e-reader. Some comments on the story suggest that Australia and 
>New Zealand's physical stores are finally feeling the impact of 
>online bookselling, after years of being shielded from Amazon's impact.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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