Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Birchalls bookshop to close

Australia’s oldest bookshop, Birchalls in Launceston, is set to close this year after being put on the market in March 2016.

The ABC reports that the premises were sold in November, however, no buyer has been found to take over the business, which includes Birchalls Education Centre in Hobart and student bookshops in Hobart and Devonport.

‘We’ve been for sale since March last year, and I guess at some point you just have to draw a line in the sand,’ said managing director Graeme Tilley.

When Tilley put the business on the market last year he told the Examiner: ‘We’re not selling it because there’s anything wrong with it. At the end of the day, it’s a brilliant business.’

Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten described the impending closure as ‘extremely disappointing’. ‘It’s been a fantastic business for Launceston for many, many years. It’s an icon of the city… people will miss it.’

Birchalls first opened in Launceston in 1844 under proprietor Samuel Tegg, offering ‘a splendid assortment of books, schoolbooks, stationery, playing cards, perfumery, fancy goods, drawing materials and music’.


Category: Local news