Rooster Teeth, the popular internet media company behind such popular web series as Red vs Blue and RWBY, has recently announced that they will be shuttering the doors on their Australian web store, with Rooster Teeth claiming that it had become “increasingly more difficult and expensive to sustain the Australian store.”
In a November 27th blog post, video game and anime merchandise fulfillment Hanabee Entertainment, the company responsible for handling the Australian Rooster Teeth store, announced that Rooster Teeth had slowly grown to be their biggest client and that Hanabee Entertainment could no longer meet their demands and that the two companies would be “untying [their] long-standing relationship”:
“After all this time and all these projects, we found our team was getting more and more focused on Rooster Teeth, who became our biggest client. I took on a new project with them in the UK, and the team took over the responsibilities in Australia, embracing the chaos.
It became clear over the last year that Rooster Teeth’s global growth would lead to a crossroads. Their merchandise team is world-class, and they started pumping out a range of products as fast as Zara. Even Amazon struggles to keep up with those logistical demands.
Although we fought like hell, ultimately, the Australian store couldn’t keep up. So the hard decision was made, and we started the process of untying Hanabee and Rooster Teeth’s long-standing relationship. That lead to a restructure; the original staff since moved on to a variety of new challenges. I know what they’re capable of, and I am certain they will all do amazing things.”
This announcement was further confirmed in a community blog post by community marketing associate and support manager Chelsea Atkinson:
“Hey everyone. A few weeks ago, we confirmed that the Australian Rooster Teeth Store would be closing. At that time there were multiple details to sort out internally and with our partner for Australia sales Hanabee, but we’re finally ready to report that the closure date is Monday December 16, 2019. On that date any shoppers attempting to access the Australian Store will be redirected to the U.S./International Store and will receive a pop-up message explaining that the store is closed.”
Atkinson explained that the partnership was no longer sustainable due to the combination of the increased production volume and quality of products, high shipping costs and local import taxes, and, perhaps most of all,the “lower demand for the products.”
“What we accomplished with Hanabee was an incredible feat for a (at the time) small company. The Australian and New Zealand community have always been dear to us. But as we’ve grown and increased both our volume and quality of merchandise, it has become increasingly more difficult and expensive to sustain the Australian store. The cost of shipping and duties to get merch to Australia had become as much cost as the products themselves. That combined with a lower demand for the products created a situation where we were losing money trying to provide a continuous supply of new merch to the store. This sucks, but we’ll keep working on ways to improve how we support this community. For one we’re committed to sending some cast members to at least one Australian convention appearance in 2020, and our VP of Marketing has promised that he will eat a live Huntsman Spider during Extra Life next year if we can’t deliver on this.”
Looking forward, Atkinson noted that they were working on possible solutions for international customers, including an app which would automatically convert listed USD prices into a users local currency:
“Our eCommerce team is working on what this means for the future of our international customers. One of the things that they are looking into is a new app which will convert pricing on our USA/International store into local currency (it’ll be based upon your IP address) and bundle in duty and taxes so the total cost will be upfront.”
To help facilitate this transition in partnerships, Hanabee Entertainment announced that they would be having a massive sale on the Australian Rooster Teeth site, staring on December 6th, 2019 and running until the store’s official closure:
The Final Sale Begins Tomorrow December 6th @ 09:00 AEDT
Average discount = 80% off retail price
Orders of $50 or more may receive a random, bonus stocking stuffer.
Everything subject to availability. We expect a little chaos so the advice is to get in early.
Last orders accepted December 17th at 09:00 AEDT
Check FAQ page for more details.