Whitcoulls absorbs Borders, honours gift cards
The Norman family's James Pascoe Ltd says its salvaged chain of Whitcoulls and Borders bookshops will honour all unexpired Whitcoulls gift cards and vouchers at full face value.
A total of 64 Whitcoulls Borders stores have been sold to Pascoe's, after the previous owner REDgroup, called in voluntary administrators, and the five Borders stores are expected to be rebranded as Whitcoulls.
Whitcoulls gift cards and vouchers would be honoured as a "thank you" to loyal customers, the company said.
A condition of the purchase out of administration was the transfer of the majority of the Whitcoulls leases to the JPL Group.
Ian Draper, former managing director of Whitcoulls and then the REDgroup, will be managing director of Whitcoulls and the James Pascoe group said that all companies in its group would add "considerable resources" both in the short and longer term to rebuild the books business.
"The challenge is to make the Whitcoulls business and its product-offering relevant and desirable, to refresh the stores, re-motivate, listen to and involve its team members," the company said.
The Norman family, owner of the Farmers department stores and Australasian jewellery stores -- Stewart Dawsons, Prouds, Goldmark and Angus and Coote -- has not disclosed how much it paid administrator Ferrier Hodgson for the book businesses, which employ about 900 people.
Ten Whitcoulls stores at New Zealand airports -- five in Auckland, two in Wellington and Christchurch and one in Rotorua -- were sold to travel retail specialist LS Travel Retail Pacific to be renamed under the new owner's Relay brand.
The Bennetts chain of eight stores located in New Zealand universities was bought by an company owned by private Kiwi investor Geoff Spong.