The ABC has announced the imminent closure of both ABC Shop Online (which stocks Limelight magazine) and in-store ABC Centres. The news comes three years after the ABC closed all of its physical stores.
“ABC Shop Online and the ABC Centres are an important part of the ABC’s commercial operations, and these decisions are never taken lightly,” ABC Commercial’s General Manager Andrew Lambert said. “This proposal directly responds to the changing market, in particular consumers’ shift to digital delivery of audio and visual content. Coupled with the intensifying global competition affecting the entire retail sector, the resulting decline in physical sales means the retail business is becoming increasingly unviable.”
The ABC expects up to 16 redundancies will be made as a result of the proposal and the organisation is currently in consultation with employees and union representatives. While a final day of trade has not yet been set for ABC Shop online, all ABC Centres will have ceased trading by close of business on February 15, 2019. The businesses hosting the ABC Centres will continue to trade as per usual after that date.
The announcement from the ABC follows the closure earlier this year of Thomas’ Music in Melbourne, one of Australia’s last remaining specialist classical music retailers.
While listeners will no longer be able to buy ABC Classics releases through ABC Shop Online and the ABC Centres, physical discs will still be available through other retailers.
“ABC Classics will remain an important and vibrant part of ABC Music,” an ABC spokesperson told Limelight. “ABC Classic titles will continue to be available as CDs through a range of retailers across Australia, including national retailers JB HiFi and Sanity as well as Fish Fine Music in Sydney, Readings in Melbourne and others around the country; through Universal Music’s mail order service Classics Direct; as well as through digital distribution on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music and Google Play.”