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ABC plans final exit from retail operations with closure of online store

The ABC is looking to close down its online retail presence with a proposal to shut its online store and discontinue the ABC Centres hosted by third party bookstores.

The move, which the ABC says will see around 16 staff lose their jobs, will see the end of the broadcaster’s direct retail operations at the end of the year.

In 2015, the broadcaster shut down its national chain of 50 ABC Shops with the loss of 300 staff.

Approved stores and online retailers will continue to distribute the ABC products such as DVDs, books, toys and other merchandise.

General manager of ABC Commercial, Andrew Lambert, said:“Consultation with employees and union representatives on this proposal begins today and we look forward to their input over the coming weeks.

“ABC Shop Online and the ABC Centres are an important part of the ABC’s commercial operations, and these decisions are never taken lightly.

“This proposal directly responds to the changing market, in particular consumers’ shift to digital delivery of audio and visual content. Coupled with the intensifying global competition affecting the entire retail sector, the resulting decline in physical sales means the retail business is becoming increasingly unviable.”

ABC Commercial has come under fire from private sector media companies for ‘distorting the playing field‘ during the current competitive neutrality inquiry being held by the Federal government.

In 2009, ABC Commercial licensed its book publishing operations to Harper Collins and sold its classic music magazine, Limelight to Haymarket Media who later sold it to Andrew Batt-Rawden. Limelight Magazine was rescued earlier this year by supporters after Batt-Rawden struck financial difficulties.

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