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.