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25 Angus & Robertson franchisees to go independent after collapse

Tuesday, 5 April 2011 | By Madeleine Heffernan

Around half of Angus & Roberton's franchised stores have terminated their franchise agreements and plan to operate as independent bookstores, six weeks after A&R's owner RedGroup Retail collapsed.

 

Marie Fitzpatrick, the former Angus & Robertson franchisee in the New South Wales town of Bowral, said the collapse of REDgroup Retail had had a terrible effect on the business of franchisees.

 

"Franchisees have experienced serious falls in sales after the collapse," Fitzpatrick told SmartCompany.

 

The group sent a letter from its lawyer this morning advising Ferrier Hodgson, the receivers of the private equity-owned REDgroup Retail, of its decision.

 

Fitzpatrick says it was "seriously difficult" to be an A&R franchisees after the collapse.

 

She argues the group has a right to terminate its agreement because the franchisees no longer received the benefits of the brand.

 

Fitzpatrick says the action to not accept gift cards had seriously damaged A&R's brand, and therefore damaged the reputations of the respective stores.

 

Steve Sherman, administrator REDgroup Retail, has told SmartCompany the administrators "strongly refute the purported terminations and intend to hold each of the franchisees fully accountable under the terms of the franchise agreements."

 

"The Angus and Robertson brand continues to operate and the administrators remain optimistic that a long term solution can be determined for the benefit of all stakeholders," he added.

The franchises to terminate their agreement are:

  • Albany
  • Armidale
  • Tamworth
  • Batemans Bay
  • Bowral
  • Kiama
  • Burnie
  • Busselton
  • Darwin
  • Edwardstown
  • Forster
  • Glenelg
  • Mt Barker
  • West Lakes
  • Victor Harbour
  • Murray Bridge
  • Goulburn
  • Nowra
  • Orange
  • Rockingham
  • Southport
  • Taree
  • Ulladulla
  • Unley
  • North Adelaide

This story first appeared on SmartCompany.