A total of 321 REDgroup Retail staff have been made redundant following the closure of 37 Angus & Robertson stores and one Borders store, administrators Ferrier Hodgson said.

The closures will be effective over the next three weeks.

REDgroup Retail operates Angus & Robertson and Borders in Australia and Whitcoulls book stores in New Zealand. It entered into voluntary administration on February 17.

Administrator Steve Sherman, said the restructure is a necessary step for the future of the business.

“These stores were the least viable of the 260 REDgroup retail outlets and needed to be closed in order to protect as best as possible the future of the business,” he said.

“As administrators, we need to take these difficult decisions in order to give people at the remaining stores their best chance at a long-term future.”

These closures will not affect the Angus & Robertson franchise stores, which are not in administration and are continuing to operate financially independent of REDgroup.

Also, New Zealand operations, Borders Online and Angus & Robertson Online are not affected by this restructure.

“While book retailing has been difficult for some REDgroup outlets in Australia, there is no present requirement for us to close any stores in New Zealand,” Sherman said.

Ferrier Hodgson said assistance will be provided to employees needing help with searching for new employment.