14/01/2020 - 10:35

Curious Planet chain to close stores

14/01/2020 - 10:35

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Curious Planet, formerly known as Australian Geographic, will close all 63 of its stores in Australia over the next eight weeks after the owner's administrators were unable to find a suitable buyer for the struggling retailer.

Curious Planet, formerly Australian Geographic, will close all of its stores in the coming weeks.

Curious Planet, formerly known as Australian Geographic, will close all 63 of its stores in Australia over the next eight weeks after the owner's administrators were unable to find a suitable buyer for the struggling retailer.

Curious Planet has six stores in Western Australia, including at Hillarys, Joondalup and Cannington.

Its owners, the University Co-operative Bookshop, went into voluntary administration in November last year, largely due to a decline in textbook purchases, while owing more than $15 million in debts.

Co-op Bookshop appointed PwC’s Philip Carter, Daniel Walley and Andrew Scott as its administrators.

Mr Scott said while a number of discussions were held with interested parties, there was no acceptable offer to purchase some or all of the Curious Planet network.

“While we remain open to offers from potential purchasers, we have no option at this time but to commence the orderly closure of the stores,” he said.

“We have continued to trade the Curious Planet stores during the Christmas shopping season and intend to keep the stores open in the immediate term to ensure that consumers have the opportunity to purchase discounted items that are currently on sale.”

Mr Scott said forthcoming store closures would not affect the sale process for the Co-op Bookshop business.

The administrators said all employee entitlements would be met, however, the timing of payments remained uncertain.

The University Co-Operative Bookshop was founded by students in 1958. It currently operates 34 stores in university campuses across Australia.

The Australian Geographic stores had been operating since 1992.

It changed its name to Curious Planet after the Co-op Bookshop lost its rights to the Australian Geographic title in October last year.

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