August 17, 2007
I don't know anything at all about the Australian book market, but I found this letter from a Tower Books executive to a major Australian book retailer, Angus & Robertson, quite entertaining.
In summary, we reject out of hand this notion that somehow, even giving you 45% discount on a Sale or Return basis, with free freight to each of your individual stores, where we make less than half of that on the same book, puts us in the "category of unacceptable profitability". We have seen Angus & Robertson try this tactic before - about 12 years ago Angus & Robertson decided that unless we gave them a 50% discount, they would not buy from us any longer. We refused. Angus & Robertson desisted from buying from us for seven months. We survived, Angus & Robertson came back cap in hand.
We have seen Myer effectively eliminate smaller suppliers. We survived and prospered but look at the Myer Book Departments today.
We have seen David Jones decide that it had too many publishers to deal with and to exclude the smaller suppliers. We survived and prospered but look at the David Jones Book Departments today.