REDgroup Retail -- Australia's largest book retailer under chains Borders and Angus & Robertson -- is either a victim of foreign online retailers (and the federal government's rejection of recommendations to open up the local market) or simply a bad business badly run. And probably both.
The private equity-backed group voluntarily went to the receivers yesterday, with debts of more than $130 million. REDgroup chairman Steven Cain blamed competition from foreign retailers like Amazon, who avoid charging Australian GST and duty taxes. Across the world the growing share of direct internet delivery is driving sales lower for high-cost physical retailers; the Borders Group in the US -- no relation to the Australian company -- also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy yesterday.