7 Apr 2011

Australian firm buys Whitcoulls stores

7:54 am on 7 April 2011

The ten Whitcoulls airport bookstores have been sold to an Australia-based travel retailer for an undisclosed amount.

The stores, based at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Rotorua airports, will be re-branded as Relay stores over the coming weeks.

The purchaser is LS Travel Retail Pacific which has stores at airports throughout Australia and duty free operations in New Caledonia.

Whitcoulls, Borders and Bennetts bookstores were put in voluntary administration by the private equity owners of REDGroup retail in February.

Administrator Steve Sherman says the sales process for the remaining 77 stores is continuing and he expects to have a clearer idea of possible prospects when final bids close later this month.

The Whitcoulls book chain is one of New Zealand's oldest retailers, dating back to 1882.