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Major Aussie retailer in trouble

The future of online retailer Booktopia looks uncertain as the company halts trading on the Australian Stock Exchange.
The future of online retailer Booktopia looks uncertain as the company halts trading on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The future of Aussie online retailer Booktopia looks uncertain after the company voluntarily suspended trading on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The book retailer advised ASX on Monday it wanted an immediate trading halt on its securities as it anticipated making an announcement about a strategic review the company undertook while it tried to seek additional funding.

ASX confirmed on Tuesday the company had been suspended from quotation pending the release of any outcomes from the review.

Booktopia was a popular online store during coronavirus lockdowns, but has since been plagued with poor results as its challenged by the current economic conditions, a decrease in stock and a new fulfilment centre.
Booktopia was a popular online store during coronavirus lockdowns, but has since been plagued with poor results as its challenged by the current economic conditions, a decrease in stock and a new fulfilment centre.

Booktopia has been plagued with poor results in the past year as the online retailer faced a number of challenges in the current economic climate.

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Soft book sales, a decrease in inventory and transition to a new customer fulfilment centre all had an adverse effect on revenue over the past 12 months seeing it drop 21 per cent.

In the past month, chief financial officer Fiona Levens and chief executive officer David Nenke have both resigned from the company.

It was also revealed that 50 positions would be made redundant from Booktopia’s corporate headquarters in Sydney, saving the organisation $2.7m

Booktopia recently announced it would be axing 50 jobs from its corporate headquarters in Sydney.
Booktopia recently announced it would be axing 50 jobs from its corporate headquarters in Sydney.

To help pay for the redundancy program the company had to acquire $1m which cost more than $2m in total.

Executive chairman Peter George said sustained volatility of the economic climate and changing consumer spending behaviour had continued to contribute to results that were below their expectations.

“The board remains committed to building a profitable and sustainable business in the short and long-term and as such, we have regretabbly had to make the very difficult decision to make a large reduction in headcount and will commence the necessary consultation with our staff,” he said.

“This will assist in resetting the company’s cost base to become more commercially viable and improve its prospects as it moves forward.”

Further announcements are expected following a strategic review.