ABC Commercial will begin a phased exit from its portfolio of ABC Shop properties.
ABC Retail will review its lease arrangements with landlords and develop a revised retail model with a focus on ABC Shop Online and ABC branded outlets in other retailers.
This strategy aligns with the changing retail environment, as consumers increasingly access content digitally through subscription services and downloads and purchase physical products online. It is no longer possible for the ABC to sustain a large network of leased stores, traditionally reliant on DVD and CD formats. However, ABC DVDs, music, books, toys and merchandise will still be widely available for customers to purchase through ABC Shop Online and other retailers.
The ABC is considering the impact of this transition and will engage in consultation with its staff over the coming months.
Robert 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.”
Head of ABC Retail, Regina Hoekstra, said “the welfare of our staff will be a primary focus over the next few months. We are conscious that the ABC Shop is close to the hearts of our teams and we appreciate their ongoing hard work and dedication.
“ABC Shop is a trusted brand with a strong product offer, loyal customers and an engaged, committed team. ABC Retail will continue to adapt to an ever-changing retail climate in order to provide a sustainable retailing experience for customers.”
ABC Retail consists of 50 stores, ABC Shop Online and 78 ABC Centres located in other retail outlets. The ABC employs up to 300 people in its retail operations.
Each year approximately 1,000 new consumer products are created, licensed or released by ABC Commercial including DVDs, digital downloads, music, books, magazines, toys, novelties and clothing. These products are made available digitally on a range of platforms, as well as through the ABC Retail network and through many other retail outlets including department stores, specialist retailers and direct marketers Australia-wide.