Friday, May 27, 2011


Nick Krause -
Photo Andrew Gorrie - DomPost

The new New Zealand owners of the Whitcoulls and Borders bookstores have confirmed they will retain the iconic Whitcoulls name but are less certain about the ailing Borders brand.
Auckland-based Anne and David Norman have bought the two chains for a confidential sum from troubled Australian group REDGroup Retail which collapsed three months ago under huge debts.
The owners of Farmers department store and the largest chain of jewellery stores in Australasia, the Normans have also confirmed they would almost certainly honour all Whitcoulls vouchers and gift cards at face value.
At the time of voluntary administration three months ago, the subject of redeeming vouchers caused a backlash among customers nationwide when they were told by the administrator they could only redeem vouchers if they spent the equivalent value in stores.

Full piece at
More at TV3 News.

The Bookman has always assumed any new owner would drop the Borders name.Why keep it ? The name is associated now with failure worldwide. Then there is the question of their store locations. At least in Auckland and Wellington the huge Borders stores (which have always traded unprofitably) are near the Whitcoulls flagship stores, makes sense to be quit of them.
I would also suggest to the new owners that they consider reinstating the company's old name - Whitcombe &Tombs - as since it became Whitcoulls it has never been a happy company with a string of owners all contributing in their own way to the eventual and inevitable demise of this formerly iconic NZ bookseller.


Gavin McLean said...

My thoughts exactly on restoring the W&T name. The Coulls part of the 1970s rebrand referred to a printing and packaging arm, long-since flogged off.

Joan Druett said...

What a wonderful idea to revert to the Whitcombe & Tombs name! It brings back happy memories of the past, when staff were really, really interested in helping your book-hunt, and had educated, thoughtful suggestions.

Bob S said...

Whitcombe & Tombs - YES ! Bring it back.

Penny said...

No -- too long and unwieldy - Whitcoulls is much easier for people to say. And W&T means nothing to the younger generation. How about a new variation, perhaps - Whitmans? (Whitcoulls+Normans)

Anonymous said...

Please - no more name change!