What about Peppa Pig? Last night staff at ABC shops around the country were informed that up to 300 jobs would be lost after the broadcaster decided to shut 50 stores, while retaining ABC online and ABC centres in other retailers. Speaking on ABC News 24 this morning, managing director Mark Scott said the shops were no longer making enough revenue, with the shopping habits of Australians moving online. “The ABC shops in this last year have been operating at a loss, and all the advice that we have had indicates it would not be possible for us to be able to run a chain of stores like this profitably into the future. We can’t be in the situation where we’re taking money from broadcasting and investing that to prop up a retail business.”
Looking at the ABC financial report for 2013-2014, it looks like the writing was already on the wall: “[ABC retail] has implemented a revised retail strategy which focuses on transitioning the network from its traditional reliance on DVD and CD formatted product to a broader retail offering encompassing toys, general merchandise, clothing and books”. Despite a jump in commercial revenue last year, commercial revenues were just a fraction of what they were five years ago.
The report shows that the retail revenue was 66.6% of that annual picture — $984,348. Looks like that’s it for Peppa Pig and Little Ted — it’s online or Dymocks from now on.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.