Mel McMillan

Hervey Bay cafe bookshop safe as ABC tightens belt

IT'S our ABC - but not for much longer in Hervey Bay.

The ABC Centre at Mary Ryan's Bookstore and Coffee Shop in Central Avenue is among the 78 regional ABC Centres which will discontinue after ABC Commercial announced the phasing out of its shops and centres yesterday.

The bookstore and cafe will continue to operate but from February 2016 will no longer be able to call itself an ABC Centre.

Mary Ryan's owner Cate Akaveka said the news had come as a disappointment to many of her customers.

"A lot of our regulars are really upset and have said 'But, it's our ABC'," Ms Akaveka said.

But customers who love ABC programming and books will still be able to order books, DVDs and CDs through the cafe.

"We will still have relationships with suppliers and be able to order in what is not in stock," she said.

Ms Akaveka said the change did have some positives for the cafe.

"We have been wanting to expand our children's section to include a reading nook," she said.

The shop will incorporate the change into a new fitout which the cafe was planning.

Ms Akaveka said the loss of the ability to use the ABC Centre logo would impact the store.

She estimated ABC goods made up about 10% of the shop's business.

ABC Commercial announced yesterday it would be closing its 50 ABC Shops and 78 ABC Centres and focusing its retail offerings online.

ABC Commercial director Robert Patterson said acknowledged the place of ABC Shops and Centres across the country for the past 35 years.

"This decision has not been taken lightly.

"However, this strategy will create a more cost effective, nimble and flexible approach to servicing customers," he said.



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