ABC to pull the plug on stores
CA S T L E T O W N ’ S AB C Shop will be among the 50 stores to close nationwide following the announcement the retailer would be moving its trade online.
Up to 300 people will lose their jobs throughout the country, while some will find employment in the restructured ABC Retail division.
The stores will be gradually phased out, but there is still hope for some of the 78 ABC Centres, which are smaller merchandise outlets within other retailers.
Among them is the ABC Centre within the Mary Who? Bookstore in the CBD.
ABC Retail announced yesterday it would review lease arrangements with landlords and develop a revised retail model with a focus on ABC Shop Online and ABC- branded outlets in other retailers.
They cited a changing retail environment – mainly consumer preference for digital content and online sales – as the reasons behind the “new strategy”.
ABC Retail said the 69 staff employed in Queensland would be consulted over the coming months.
An ABC spokesman was unable to comment on the ABC Shop in CastleTown Shopping Centre, but it is believed there are up to five staff employed there.
The shop has been in the centre for almost five years.
Victorian visitor Ann Crockett said she was a big fan of ABC Shops and would miss the educational games, books for kids, British TV series and merchandise she usually buys instore.
“It is a shame really, I liked to do my Christmas shopping there,” she said.
Mary Who? Bookshop coowner Kerry McIlroy said while they would probably cease hosting the ABC Centre from next February, the shop would remain open thanks to its booming book trade.
“We have had the ABC Centre for about 12 years, but it was scaled back when the full shop went to CastleTown,” Ms McIlroy said.
“But our business is strong; the books still sell and that comprises a majority of our business.”
Ms McIlroy said many customers were sad about the news that the ABC Shops would close down.
“All through the day we’ve had people concerned we are closing,” she said. “We’ve been reassuring them we are here to stay.”
It is a shame really, I liked to do my Christmas shopping there.