Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Run for the Border! (If ya still got one)

We saw this coming from a long way away, as Borders seemed to make a lot of very stupid (or late) business decisions that hurt profits. The biggest misstep was not acknowledging that the whole market was transforming before their very eyes. They were late in developing their eBook marketplace. They clearly lagged behind Amazon, Apple, and of course Barnes & Noble in adapting their business model to the changes of how people get books.

Even if you ignore the company being sold to Kmart back in the 90s, their ill-fated purchase of a toy retailer, or even their holding on to cash-drainer Waldenbooks.

Underestimating the power of ebooks killed them.

To put it bluntly, Borders was getting its retail ass kicked for the last several years and then took a swift strike to the balls in the last twenty four months.

I hope to write more on the topic of the changing publishing world as I learn more about where it is today and where it's going in the near future. But readers have more choices these days - and they want their content right NOW. If retailers and publishers don't get with it, they will follow the dark and depressing path Borders is treading on today.

Here's an official list of Borders stores that are closing.  If you have a Borders gift card, you probably should go spend it now.


the weirdgirl said...

Oh geez, I was just in our local one and I see it's on the list. I wonder if the close out sales will be good?

angel, jr. said...

I struggle against the purchase of e-books as I love searching thru the shelves and reading back covers and inside flaps. I however, have found there is some convenience in purchasing books on-line. And I love being able to carry around several books at a time.

Phats said...

This makes me sad I love books, love to read so it was definitely sucky to hear. The one at Purdue is closing I heard today. I usually go to Books-A-Million since we don't have a Borders or B&N in our town hopefully they aren't next

The Phoenix said...

I love books too, having been an English teacher. But I could only resist for so long. I got the Kindle, and oh MAN it opened all kinds of doors to finding great stuff. Many of the classics are FREE, and it's like having a whole library in my hands. It's the future. I hope kids will get to use similar devices instead of carrying around 2 ton backpacks!

Anonymous said...

There's some nervous talk up here about our bookstores too. :(

I'd have gotten a Kindle but the fact that I loathe Amazon. I hate that I can't read their ebooks on my Sony. I'm not about to buy a Kindle just to read theirs and I don't want to read on my laptop - that's why I bought an ereader.

The Phoenix said...

I hope your bookstore stays open, Jenn.

I really thought long and hard about an ereader, and I've been a longtime Amazon customer.So it made sense for me.
I also read on my iPhone 4, which I didn't think I would do. On the go, it's a good way to pass the time if I'm in line or something.

Mr. Shife said...

Our Borders is staying open for now. I prefer Borders over Barnes & Noble just because they always carried a better and deeper selection of DVDs. I hope they can get it together but right now it does not look good. I like the look of the blog. Looks pretty sharp.

J. Noel said...

Thanks Shife. I'm still doing some work on it.

I'm not an HTML expert, but can tinker here and there. Hopefully writing about writing and other stuff keeps the creative juices flowing.

And of course I'll have to post some science stuff up here too.

cube said...

All of the Borders in my area are closing. That's a sad thing for me because I preferred them to Barnes & Noble.

I can't say I didn't see it coming after all the very poor business decisions made by the company. Don't fret. I'm sure the CEO will get a great retirement package.

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