Australian Geographic adventure stores likely to close by March 2017
AUSTRALIAN Geographic stores will be no more unless
a new buyer snaps up the retail chain’s loss-making
operation within a matter of months.
All 67 of the iconic adventure stores are likely to close by March 2017.
The chain, which specialises in educational toys, telescopes, globes and scientific gadgetry, has been hit hard by competition and online retailers.
Melbourne’s Myer family, which founded the department store of the same name, has owned Australian Geographic since 2007 but has reportedly “given up” on the chain.
The family has offered the business to potential buyers without success, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports, leading to plans for it to be wound down.
Australian Geographic Retail (AGR) had “recently begun a process which will likely lead to a controlled exit from its retail business during the first half of 2017,” the company told the AFR.
“AGR operates across some of the most competitive retail categories in toys, gadgets, books and licensed products. It is well known that these categories have experienced difficult trading conditions with significant competition from both online and discount channels.”
An Australian Geographic spokeswoman told the AFR that alternatives to a closure would continue to be considered and it would be “business as usual” until stores closed their doors.
Commercial property sources said individual store leases at some of the outlets were being offered to rival retailers as the Myer family tries to salvage some value from a retail business that had been generating annual sales of close to $50 million, according to the AFR.