The hobbit bookstore chain, which has been owned by Michael Cohen, is shutting down.
Its parent company, Bookseller Group, said it was shutting down due to financial constraints and to “save money” on staff costs.
Its website was set to go live at 5pm AEST on Tuesday but the announcement was made in a statement on Wednesday afternoon.
“The store is closing its doors as we make the tough decisions necessary to save money and provide for the continued development of our business,” the statement said.
“The hobbit books, which have been our number one seller for more than a decade, will not be sold and the books will be put on a shelf for a future buyer.”
We will not offer any additional bookings during this period, including for Christmas.
“As with most major retailers we are not able to predict what will happen next in the book industry, but we will do our best to remain focused on the books we have.”
Mr Cohen’s Bookseller group is a unit of Australian online book retailer Bookrabbit.
The chain, founded in the early 2000s, has grown rapidly in recent years.
Its sales have grown by more than 1.4 million copies since it opened its doors in 2010, and its customer base has swelled from more than 250,000 to more than 400,000.
But the chain has faced tough times in recent times.
In February, it announced it was closing its Hobbits branch in Hobart, Tasmania, after its customers were turned away from its branch in Melbourne.
Last month, it said it would lay off 100 employees, but that was down to the “costs of the recession”.
It also announced plans to sell its Hobbs bookstore in Tasmania.ABC/AAP