HISTORY OF THE BUSINESS – ABC RETAIL
For a number of years the Australian Broadcasting Corporation had been operating a small section handling school booklets related to programming, and the annual Boyer Lectures, and selling these through ABC offices. In 1974 ABC Publications was formed and commenced producing books based on ABC programs for the retail trade. The first book was a full colour publication, "A Big Country" from the TV series of the same name.
The business continued to develop and in 1978 the section was re-named ABC Merchandising. In 1981 the first stand alone ABC Shop opened at Hobart in Tasmania.
In 1984 the ABC was restructured and its commercial activities consolidated creating the division called ABC Enterprises. This division was given the direction to substantially increase its financial performance and profile in the community.
By 1985 ABC Shops were established in each Australian capital city. At this time an external Mail Order Centre was also established and sales from ABC offices ceased. In 1987 the first suburban ABC Shop opened in Parramatta, NSW.
In 1988 the first ABC Centre was opened in suburban Sydney.
In 1995 ABC Shop Online was first established as a reference site and in 1998, it became a fully functioning e-commerce site. In 1998 the ABC Shop Reward Card loyalty program was launched and was one of the first programs of its type in Australia.
In 2007 the area was renamed ABC Commercial and is comprised of 4 business areas: ABC Retail, ABC Consumer Publishing, ABC Digital & ABC Production & Sales.
In 2009 ABC Retail introduced a new ABC Shop Concept Design which transformed the entire ABC Retail with the new presence reflected on ABC Shop online and in ABC Centres.
ABC Retail is comprised of 3 business units - ABC Shops, ABC Shop Online and ABC Centres.
In 2012 there were 54 ABC Shops owned and operated by the ABC. An average shop stocks approximately 4,000 product lines, with a large proportion of sales derived from ABC created/licensed consumer products, including BBC, with the remaining sales coming from non-ABC created/licensed product that is relevant to ABC programming or charter activities. See the full list of locations on the ABC Shop Online website.
ABC SHOP ONLINE
This area delivers orders throughout Australia and overseas destinations, received by phone, fax, mail and online. In 1992 the External Mail Order Centre, was closed (due to the decline in school's product and increase in ABC trade & retail outlets) deliveries were then handled by the capital city shops in each state. In 2000 an Internal Order Centre was set up and established as a separate business unit. This resulted from the growth in the number of orders largely brought about by the ABC Shop Online. In 1995 the on line site was set up as a reference site and in 1998 it became an E-Commerce site and in 2003 music downloads started. All merchandise offered for sale in the ABC Shops is available through on line with an excess of 96.5% of orders coming from Online and approximately 5% going overseas. Visit ABC Shop Online website
In 2012 there were 108 ABC Centres across Australia. The Centres are licensing arrangements, similar to a franchise, and provide for a dedicated and appropriately signed ABC space within existing retail businesses, more than likely a book store. The product range carried is significantly smaller than that held by an ABC Shop and concentrates on ABC produced/created new releases, on-going best sellers and currently promoted and program related products. The majority of ABC Centres are located in country areas which could not support a standalone ABC Shop. See the full list of ABC Centre locations on the ABC Shop Online website.