ABC to close physical stores and make e-commerce push citing decline in DVD market

The ABC has announced it will phase out its retail store presence with some 50 ABC Shop stores, 78 ABC Centres in other retail outlets and 300 staff impacted.

Announcing the news this morning ABC managing director Mark Scott told the ABC’s AM program: “The basis of these stores of course for many years has been books, CDs and DVDs and everyone knows the CD and DVDs businesses have radically changed.”

The new strategy for the ABC retail division will see it focus on online sales with the public broadcaster arguing it is no longer possible for the ABC to sustain a large network of leased stores.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 8.12.19 amRobert Patterson, director of ABC commercial said: “The ABC Shops have been an important part of the ABC’s relationship with its audiences for the past 35 years and this decision has not been taken lightly. However, this strategy will create a more cost effective, nimble and flexible approach to servicing customers.

“This direction is also in keeping with the shift of ABC audiences to accessing content across an array of digital platforms, while maintaining an appropriate level of physical retail distribution. The ABC is confident that this new strategy will ensure continued audience engagement. Consumers will still be able to purchase much loved content both online and in stores.”

ABC Commercial is responsible for the management of a range of wholesale businesses alongside ABC Retail.

According to the ABC 2013-14 annual report ABC Commercial contributed just under $1.5m to ABC net revenues last year but this has fallen substantially from ten years ago when ABC Commercial, which includes retail and also other licence and product services, was contributing $19.19m.

Last year the public broadcaster lost around $250m of funding in the federal budget, leading to 400 job losses.

Source: ABC annual report 2013-14

Source: ABC annual report 2013-14

Nic Christensen 


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