We reported a week ago that the last of the Borders stores in Australia closed down for good due to the ailing financial management with parent company RedGroup. It seems Borders and Whitcoulls in New Zealand were salvaged by The Norman family’s James Pascoe Ltd. There are five remaining Borders Books right now and they will be officially absorbed into the Whitcoulls chain of books.
The Norman family, owner of the Farmers department stores and Australasian jewelery stores, Stewart Dawsons, Prouds, Goldmark, and Angus & Coote, has not disclosed how much it paid administrator Ferrier Hodgson for the book businesses, which employs about 900 people. The company confirmed that most of these people will be working under the new management.
Whitcoulls has more than a century of history in New Zealand that dates back to the establishment of Whitcombe and Tombs in 1888 and Coulls Somerville Wilkie in 1871. It was owned for a short time by the large British bookstore chain WH Smith before being picked up by REDgroup, a retail operations company owned by Pacific Equity Partners. The chain is now owned by the Pascoe group adding to the history of different owners coming aboard.
The sale to the Pascoe group will allow for considerable resources for the Whitecoulls and Borders brand in New Zealand. The company also verified today that they intend to honor all giftcards and vouchers at face value.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.