6 August 2020: Aussie kids can get ready to add to their bookshelves as BIG W announces that the fourth edition of its popular Free Books for Kids program will be starting in stores on Thursday 6 August.
The program will give away 2.6 million books to Australian families over the course of the eight-week program with one new title released each week, with absolutely no purchase necessary. BIG W will also be releasing audio recordings weekly on the ‘BIG W Free Books for Kids’ podcast which can be found on Acast, Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
For the first time, BIG W is also working directly with community groups across Australia to give away an additional 40,000 books to local hospitals, primary schools and childcare centres, getting more books into the hands of more children across the country.
BIG W’s GM Marketing Kristen Linders said: “It has been a challenging year for Aussie families - financial pressures of COVID-19 have had a significant impact, with research* indicating that over 70% of parents saying it has prevented them from buying books. We’re humbled to continue this important and much-loved program during this period, giving more families and local communities access to books.”
BIG W’s research has also found that almost half of Aussie parents have been reading to their children more often since COVID-19, with the timely Free Books program affording families the opportunity to add to their personal library and foster a love of reading at home.
Given the impact of COVID on all Aussie families, safety comes first so BIG W has introduced some additional safety measures for a contactless experience when customers choose to collect their books in store; hand sanitiser stations at the front of every BIG W store and the books located close by in a self-serve unit for a convenient and quick collection.
Additionally, the program won’t be available in Victoria, for now.
Ms Linders added: “Being a responsible retailer means keeping our customers and teams safe. For this reason, we have made the decision to press pause on Free Books for Kids in Victoria for the time being, as we know that some families who shop with us won't be able to, or may not feel comfortable visiting our stores over this period as regularly as they would like. We will bring our Free Books back when the time is right. In the meantime, we encourage our Victorian customers to enjoy the weekly podcasts.”
This fourth installment of the program will take the number of books given away since the program’s inception in 2019 to over 11.5 million books. For more information visit: www.bigw.com.au.
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*Red Havas commissioned YouGov to conduct an online survey. This study was conducted online between 13-20 July 2020. The sample comprised a nationally representative sample of 1,018 parents with a child 3-12 years of age. Following the completion of interviewing, the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.
About the book titles in BIG W’s Free Books for Kids program:
May Gibbs’ classic A Ragged Blossom Tale is the first in the series to collect, with the first four picture books catering to younger children, and the final four full-sized chapter books ideal for older kids wanting to start a series of chapter books and follow the adventures of favoured characters, like Captain Underpants, and Ella and Olivia.