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Book Cash, Part Three

From Dave Fenlon, Chief Operating Officer at Angus & Robertson:

Firstly, I would like to assure you that the negotiations that are taking place between Angus & Robertson and our suppliers are not intended to have any impact on Australian authors and are purely about reaching a commercial arrangement with publishers.

Angus & Robertson is a major retailer of Australian titles, with 30% of top selling lines made up by Australian authors. It is vital that we have a sustainable business that can continue supporting Australian authors over the long term.

Over the past three years we have invested over $14 million in the growth and expansion of our business to bolster the industry and ensure accessibility and value for our customers. Despite our best efforts, we too are under increasing pressure to survive as we are squeezed by major department stores and online stores, resulting in our company-owned stores making an operating cash loss this year.

As a commercial business, we have the right to make decisions about which suppliers we do business with. In our negotiations with suppliers, we are the customer. Unfortunately we cannot work with every publisher in Australia, particularly if the relationship is not commercially viable for us.


I can't imagine that anything about this so far has given Angus & Robertson good press. However, a company can't be seen to fold so quickly, so they must issue a stick to your guns kind of statement, coupled with a but the door's not closed kind of attitude which allows them to fold later. This is that kind of letter.


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Aug. 10th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)
To be frank, it looks like spin to me.

They may be customers of the publishers, but how many customers demand a big cash sum to continue doing business somewhere?
Aug. 10th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
yeah, it's all about damage control. i might go into A&R and ask for some cash to keep shopping there, though.
Aug. 10th, 2007 06:02 am (UTC)
Aug. 10th, 2007 05:43 am (UTC)
The thing I simply don't understand is that if A&R lose money dealing with small publishers, why bother dealing with them at all? Don't write to them demanding huge cash bonuses - just stop dealing with them. That's simple business practice. A monkey could work that out.

It's just such Bizarroland stuff.
Aug. 10th, 2007 05:44 am (UTC)
well, they're demanding cash cause they're in financial trouble. that's the logical assumption.
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Aug. 10th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
yeah, it could be. i still reckon that in a bit of time you'll seem them back down. spin it now, but the press is all negative, so it won't stay, i reckon.
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