Whitcoulls has no immediate plans to launch its own online bookshop, despite FlyingPig’s demise - or perhaps because of it.
Whitcoulls was one of FlyingPig’s major suppliers and was originally run by ex-CEO Stefan Preston who developed the idea for an online retailer while running Whitcoulls.
“We’re still going through our strategy definition and once we’ve completed that we’ll see whether we scale the WH Smith UK offer into New Zealand or develop something here,” says spokesman Tom Dunser. The giant UK bookshop chain WH Smith recently bought Whitcoulls and Dunser says the company is still working through issues surounding the ownership - a process that will be completed next year.
“Those options exist and we would be silly not to consider them but at this stage we’re still defining our strategy.
“In all honesty our assessment is that there are so many dot coms going belly up at the moment. We have no phenomenal urge to go into what is probably a money-losing venture at this time”.