City bookstore staff retain their jobs
STAFF at Townsville’s two Angus & Robertson bookstores were breathing sighs of r el i ef yesterday af t er learning their outlets would not close.
The stores’ eight staff discovered their jobs were safe on Thursday when Steve Sherman, administrator of the bookshop chain’s owner REDGroup Retail, omitted the outlets from a list of 38, one operating under the Borders brand, to be closed in a restructure of the business.
The Townsville stores are a t t h e C a s t l e t o w n a n d Stockland Aitkenvale and their future has been unclear since REDGroup was placed under administration on February 17.
Staff declined to comment on the news after being instructed not to do so by the administrator.
Mr Sherman, of Ferrier Hodgson, said the closures, mainly i n capital cities, would occur over the next three weeks.
Some 321 staff will be made redundant, 102 of them per- manent employees, both fulltime and part-time, and the other 219 casual employees.
To be closed are seven stores in Queensland, 15 in Victoria, 11 in NSW, two in ACT, two in Western Australia, and one in South Australia.
Queensland outlets to close are all in the southeast corner – at Southport on the Gold Coast; the Brisbane suburbs of Browns Plains, Chermside, Upper Mt Grava t t , N o r t h L a k e s a n d Sunnybank and the Ipswich suburb of Redbank. The 38 closures will reduce from 141 to 103 the number of stores REDGroup operates directly u n d e r t h e A n g u s a n d R o b e r t s o n a n d B o r d e r s brands in Australia.
A f urther 52 Angus & Robertson stores operate as independent businesses.
REDGroup also has some 90 book outlets in New Zealand as well as business interests in Singapore.
A creditors’ meeting is set down for March 24.
Staff are safe