The survival of the Australian bookshop

Are we looking at the end of the Australian bookshop as we know it?

In the last few weeks yet more have closed their doors. At last count more than a dozen shops, including the Angus & Robertson stores in Gympie in Queensland and the Adelaide city store, with more expected. The closures follow the Red Group of companies putting Angus & Robertson and the Australian branch of the multinational Borders bookstores into voluntary administration.

Many reasons have been given including the Red Group’s business practices, the impact of parallel imports, high wages and rent, the e-book revolution, the global financial crisis and the state of the Australian dollar; even the selling of books in supermarkets.

But another key contribution is the growing trend towards buying cheap books online. The US based Amazon company is well known but more recently the British based Book Depository has become popular.

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