ABC has confirmed it will phase out its ABC Shops following dwindling sales and a move to online retail.
Up to 300 jobs will be lost from 50 stores around the country and 78 ABC Centres in other retail outlets.
In the face of funding cuts and revenue an ABC statement said it was no longer possible for the ABC to sustain a large network of leased stores, traditionally reliant on DVD and CD formats.
Robert Patterson, Director of ABC Commercial said: “The ABC Shops have been an important part of the ABC’s relationship with its audiences for the past 35 years and this decision has not been taken lightly. However, this strategy will create a more cost effective, nimble and flexible approach to servicing customers.
“This direction is also in keeping with the shift of ABC audiences to accessing content across an array of digital platforms, while maintaining an appropriate level of physical retail distribution. The ABC is confident that this new strategy will ensure continued audience engagement. Consumers will still be able to purchase much loved content both online and in stores.”
The Head of ABC Retail, Regina Hoekstra, said “the welfare of our staff will be a primary focus over the next few months. We are conscious that the ABC Shop is close to the hearts of our teams and we appreciate their ongoing hard work and dedication.
“ABC Shop is a trusted brand with a strong product offer, loyal customers and an engaged, committed team. ABC Retail will continue to adapt to an ever-changing retail climate in order to provide a sustainable retailing experience for customers.”
The news came just one day after ABC Commercial announced former SBS Director of TV Tony Iffland as general manager, ABC content sales.