Talk that school's out for Jacaranda
The school education supplies industry is abuzz with talk that Canberra's Jacaranda, first established by former ACT teachers more than 30 years ago, appears set to close after an end-of-lease sale.
One NSW supplier told The Canberra Times yesterday that he was told by a sales representative that Education Works, which has owned Jacaranda for several years, had sent an email recently revealing it was planning to shut its Canberra store. Jacaranda rival supplier Chalk Education, which is based in Phillip, said the educational supplies market was still strong in Canberra.
Chalk Education owner Trudi Smith said: ''My belief is that there are plenty of people still wanting to buy educational supplies in Canberra.
''Our particular company has been growing exponentially for the last seven years,'' she said.
Located in the suburb of Macquarie, the Jacaranda ''superstore'' has been supplying books and other educational products for preschool, primary and secondary schools since 1980.
On the company's website at Jacaranda.com.au, it says the ''End of Lease Clearance Sale'' offer will close on May 12.
Bricks-and-mortar book stores have been under increasing pressure in Australia and overseas, as online retailers with large warehouses and lower operating costs put the squeeze on traditional sellers.
There is speculation that Education Works may be planning to turn Jacaranda into an online-only service. The website markets itself as having 86,000-plus products available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Education Works declined to comment at this stage.
Marketing and product manager Tim Bradsheet said: ''The communication plan is sitting with the board currently, so unfortunately I don't have anything more to tell you at this stage.
''I'll ensure, once we have a message, that I communicate directly with you,'' he said.