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Old 06-14-2011, 03:35 AM   #1
snarkophilus
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Government minister says Australian general bookstores to be wiped out in five years

This nice little gem from the minister for Small Business in Australia today: http://www.theage.com.au/small-busin...614-1g15n.html.

Quote:
"I think in five years, other than a few specialist booksellers in capital cities we will not see a bookstore, they will cease to exist," Senator Sherry said in Canberra today.
We've had Borders and Angus & Robertsons (two of the larger chains) close here in the last few months. Must be reassuring for the bookstores that are remaining to hear these comments from the Government.


Cheers,
Simon.
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:39 AM   #2
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They have had their heads up their bums for too long with regard to the ebook revolution. That'll teach 'em to look at me like I have two heads when making enquiries.

Gerry Harvey has finally seen the light with online shopping. What's next? Big news about the death of walk in store retail? Or maybe they will have to start providing service to get us back in the shops?
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Old 06-14-2011, 03:49 AM   #3
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instead of talking about it, why not do something about it? @_@
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:21 AM   #4
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Thanks Nick, you're a real little ray of sunshine.

The only large bookstore chain in my area is Dymocks, followed possibly by A&R. Still, I don't think they'll be collapsing in the next few years, even as more people either buy online or from department stores like Myer, Kmart, and BigW.

Maybe the government should also have another look at parallel importation restrictions too.
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Old 06-14-2011, 07:08 AM   #5
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Well maybe we'll go back to independent stores that give good service and have more than just the latest blockbusters on sale. Can't see them disappearing, we have 3 bookshops in our town, population 25,000.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:04 AM   #6
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Well Nick Sherry isn't one of the worst politicians around, and partly he is right, the bookstores need to do something of face extinction. Simple and I agree. What I don't agree with was the comment in the article

Quote:
Senator Sherry made the comments at a launch of the Driving Business Online campaign, a private sector initiative designed to encourage small business owners to boost their online presence.
Online presence for bookstores is not the solution. The same article mentioned REDGroup saying increased online competition as one reason for their downfall - this coming from a big company who already had an establish online presence.

If my local got an online presence (former A&R store) what would happen? They would still charge the high price for books plus a postage fee, making it more expensive than if I drove in. Now besides having an online presence, stores need stock, and unfortunately most booktores I go into seem to push hard the latest and greatest 30 titles, and a little mix of other stuff. Being serious, what would the average bookstore have, 3000 titles in stock? 5000? Still doesn't compete with other online stores.

Bookstores need to change their business model. Gone are the days of people happily paying $30 for a paperback. Nowdays one can walk around the corner to Target or K-Mart and pay $22 for the same new released. Why an $8 difference?? (Heck, Towers of Midnight was $19.95 at my local K-Mart when released, A&R had it and still does for $34.99).

Online isn't the answer, because if they just concentrate on an online presence then no-one would visit the physical store, and Nick Sherry would be right, they would close their doors.
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:44 PM   #7
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Thirty bucks for a paperback? And $22 is a bargain?

That's insane.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Strnad View Post
Thirty bucks for a paperback? And $22 is a bargain?

That's insane.
Even more galling when the "recommended retail prices" on books here are more often than not just stickers over the top of US or UK prices, and when you remove the sticker you see $12.99 or an otherwise comparatively low price underneath...

Cheers,
Simon.
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Old 06-14-2011, 11:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viviena View Post
Thanks Nick, you're a real little ray of sunshine.
...
Maybe the government should also have another look at parallel importation restrictions too.
He's just the messenger here.

Maybe he's setting up for another challenge at parallel importation restrictions.

Last time the Australian publishing industry made a big fuss, all the usual "it'll cost local jobs" noise. If it becomes obvious to the public that import restrictions will kill local booksellers and the publishers will die anyway without stores to sell in, then the government might be in a better position to do something about it.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Strnad View Post
Thirty bucks for a paperback? And $22 is a bargain?

That's insane.
Yes welcome to buying books (and just about anything else) in Australia!

And people wonder why so many buy things from overseas. I love to support local small businesses but it's getting difficult when exactly the same item is half the price everywhere else. Not to mention available months earlier...
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:47 AM   #11
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I am more concerned that the likes of Dymocks are becoming the dominant book store chain here in Australia with the demise of Borders and most A&R stores. Dymocks simply have no idea, are rude and have little varied stock. Most staff do not know what an ebook or ereader is.
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amward View Post
Well maybe we'll go back to independent stores that give good service and have more than just the latest blockbusters on sale. Can't see them disappearing, we have 3 bookshops in our town, population 25,000.

And here there are none and has not been ever since I have been here. A suburb with well over double the population you quote.
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