By Aimee Chanthadavong

Collins Booksellers has reached an agreement with administrators Ferrier Hodgson to acquire an undisclosed number of Angus & Robertson franchisees.

Speaking to RetailBiz, CEO Daniel Jordan said the acquisition will enable former Angus & Robertson franchisees to trade under the Collins Booksellers brand and receive the full range of benefits provided to Collins franchisees.

“The benefits cover a range of areas, which includes naturally enhancing their buying power and trading terms, as well marketing support and brand development. Additional to this, they’ll be provided with critical online support via revenue share from our online business and that will extend to our customer database,” he said.

Negotiations continue with a significant number of other Angus & Robertson franchisees that have expressed interest in joining the Collins Group. Announcements regarding additional franchisees joining Collins Booksellers will be made in the coming weeks.

Jordan said the company’s next focus will be to shift to an integrated multi-channel retail business, starting with the relaunch of its website and e-commerce platform and the rollout of an e-book solution in the September quarter 2011.

“We see it as a critical movement into that space. We’re seeing an increase in demand with online sales. As our business is based on a franchise operated network, our focus is on providing customers want they want first and our franchisees will benefit from it through our support and platform,” he said.

In a first for franchise book retailing, Collins Booksellers will receive a percentage revenue share of all online sales including e-books sold to customers within their assigned.

This acquisition will increase Collins Booksellers store network from 52 stores to over 70 franchise stores trading nationwide and is in addition to the company’s acquired online book retailer Seek Media in June 2011.