City book­store staff re­tain their jobs

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor - Martin Rasini

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

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