With another chain headed for life in the arms of a wealthy suitor, you have to wonder if perhaps private (and dynastic) ownership is a good thing for bookshops.
I’ve been thinking about that for some time, thinking especially about the horrible pain that will have to be administered to bookstores and their workers if chains are to survive.
I’m not sure I know the answer yet:
The Norman family, owners of the Farmers department stores and a raft of Australasian jewellery stores, bought the 57 Whitcoulls and five Borders shops from administrator Ferrier Hodgson for a confidential sum.
David Norman told BusinessDay the company would almost certainly honour all existing vouchers and gift cards at full face value once the deal is complete.
He also confirmed that customers would not have to spend a similar amount to redeem their vouchers, which caused an enormous customer backlash shortly after the Whitcoulls, Borders and Bennetts bookstores were put into voluntary administration by their previous owners REDgroup Retail.