Whitcoulls back in Kiwi hands

Written By Lingkar Dunia on Thursday, May 26, 2011 | 2:24 PM

Whitcoulls and Borders bought by Anne and David Norman

The owners of Farmers, Pascoes, and other chains of stores have acquired the Whitcoulls bookstores and the ever-failing downunder versions of Borders from parent company REDgroup for an undisclosed sum.

This was after an undisclosed hitch in the agreement (see previous post) was resolved.

Ian Draper, former managing director of Angus & Robertson-Whitcoulls and then of the REDgroup (after quitting when ARW bought Borders), will be appointed to run the business.  At first glance, this seems odd, considering the problems that have beset the chain.  The local literati will certainly have questions, as the administration was roundly criticized for focusing on cards and wrapping paper, rather than books.

However, the Normans have full confidence in him.

He has "demonstrated both passion and zeal that we know will be welcomed back by the team at Whitcoulls and Borders," they said.

Closures would be avoided wherever possible, according to the announcement.  However, see Graham Beattie's prediction that the Borders stores, white elephants since the day they opened, will be discarded.

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