Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Curious Planet / Australian Geographic mess challenges toy and book retailers and suppliers

Mark Fletcher
November 26th, 2019 · No Comments

The situation with Curious Planet as reported last week is challenging for all businesses in the toy and book and related space.

The company behind famous retail brands Australian Geographic and the Co-op bookshop owes more than $12 million to toy sellers and publishers that say their payments are in some cases months overdue.

Internal documents seen by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age show suppliers across both the university textbook store and the science retailer were last week owed $12.6 million, of which $8.8 million was owed for stock delivered and services rendered at least 90 days prior.

One supplier, textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons, was owed more than $1 million, and 26 suppliers were owed more than $100,000 each.

The University of Western Australia and the Sydney University Sport and Fitness Centre were owed six figures, as were Australia Post and wholesale toys giant Independence Studios.

While the financial fight is between retailer and suppliers, the reality is business is that all in the ecosystem are impacted one way or another.

It is easy to feed a story like this into a narrative of, hmmm, take your pick: tough retail conditions, online is killing us, landlords charge too much, Aussies are not spending. In my opinion, these narratives are unhelpful.

A retail business in trouble is usually in trouble because of decisions made in that business. What sucks is that other businesses in or close to the ecosystem are affected through consequences of the money lost.

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Category: Ethics

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