Sunday, July 31, 2011

So what was the problem with Borders?

I went to the mall yesterday. Had some other shopping to do that was the real reason I was there, but could not resist stepping into the Borders Express store. It was packed. As far as I could tell, the major difference in the store's usual sales tactics was the huge "Going out of Business!!" signs in the windows. The stock was discounted, but not dramatically -- Borders did 20% off sales all the time before, it was just never on everything in the store. So why the stampede to shop there now? The illusion of bargains? If people really want to buy 6 or 7 books at a shot, why weren't they doing that back before the chain began going bankrupt?


  1. Even in their last moments Borders didn't comprehend today's consumers and bookstores. A friend went to their "sale" ... while there she comparison shopped at Amazon ... and found Amazon's prices were lower than Border's going out of business prices.

    Here in Seattle (often referenced as a literary place) indie bookstores are fading from the scene. A few, such as Third Place Books, seem to be doing OK mostly likely because they do a variety of things most stores don't. They sell new and used, do buy backs and have frequent author readings and book signings.

  2. Yes, there is such a thing as too many books, I don't have anywhere to store all I would like to have, and would never go back and read most of them anyway.

    The mall here has eight units in it, three of them are empty but they won't lease one of them to me for a whorehouse.

  3. Bill, from what I've read, the Borders management in Ann Arbor didn't recognize the growing popularity of e-books until it was too late, and that's what did them in. The Amazon Kindle killed them, not Amazon bargains in general.

    I think there are always going to be some bookstores because there will always be people who enjoy going in to browse when they're not sure exactly what they want to read, but don't think the big box model is sustainable. Atlanta has a lot of indie bookstores, and most seem to be doing pretty good despite the fact they're located in Georgia.

  4. We are moving toward a technological dark ages where actual books will only be found in museums.

    the Ol'Buzzard

  5. There's two book stores in this town, that's pretty good for a town this size, and they seem to be doing okay. Have a good selection of used books also.

    The down side is that they are both downtown close to the waterfront and a bluff on the other, if we get our big quake they will be history.

    At least our great library is up the hill a ways in an area I consider somewhat safe from the damage of a good shaker.

    Hell, Nan, you're in the middle of the bible belt, of course it looks like a third world country there.

    Are the christians winning? If so, be afraid, very afraid.

  6. On a side note, and I don't know if it's important, our two book stores don't have reading rooms or sell fancy coffees.

    Sometimes they have things at the Raymond Carver room at the library, like a joke telling event once a year.

  7. I as a loyal Bordrs shopper. I stopped buying from Amazon even though the prices are better in hopes of keeping the brick and morter store afloat. I don't have or want an e-book, but I agree that was where they were behind B&N. I think Borders had a better selection than B&N and a better environment.

    The going out of business sales did not reduce the book prices, I assume because they could continue to sell those online or to other sources.


My space, my rules: play nice and keep it on topic.