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  1. #1
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 11:45 AM
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    Default Borders Bookstores Finally Bite the Dust

    This has been a long time coming, but it's finally happened. As someone who follows the book industry, I think it will be very interesting to see how this will affect the book publishing/distribution/buying habits

    more independents slipping into the vacated spots and supporting the midlist books abandoned by the mega chains?

    a huge push to the ebook?

    or book buying shifting even more to online sources and further narrowing book buying availability and choice?




    ANN ARBOR, Mich. Bookseller Borders, which helped pioneer superstores that put countless mom-and-pop bookshops out of business, has filed for bankruptcy protection, sunk by crushing debt and sluggishness in adapting to a rapidly changing industry.
    The 40-year-old company plans to close about 200 of its 642 stores over the next few weeks. All of the stores closed will be superstores, Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis said. The company also operates smaller Waldenbooks and Borders Express stores.


    Borders Group Inc. President Mike Edwards said in a written statement that cautious consumer spending, negotiations it was having with publishers and other vendors and a lack of liquidity made it clear Borders "does not have the capital resources it needs to be a viable competitor."
    Borders plans to operate normally and honor all gift cards and its loyalty program as it reorganizes.
    The company will receive $505 million in debtor-in-possession financing from GE Capital and others to help it reorganize.
    According to the filing, Borders had $1.28 billion in assets and $1.29 billion in debts when it filed for bankruptcy protection.
    Big-box bookstores have struggled as more people buy books online, in electronic form or at grocery stores or discounters such as Walmart.
    Borders also suffered from a series of errors: failing to catch onto the growing importance of the Web and electronic books, not reacting quickly enough to declining music and DVD sales, and hiring a series of CEOs without book-selling experience.
    At its peak in 2003, Borders operated 1,249 stores under the Borders and Waldenbooks names, but now it operates barely half that. Its annual revenue has fallen by about $1 billion since 2006, the last year it reported a profit

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  2. #2
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 11:45 AM
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    Default

    one of the better analysis of what went wrong published in Shelf Awareness this week



    Borders Missteps Go Back 20 Years

    In the many analyses of Borders's problems, people cite a range of reasons, most notably the company's decision to outsource its website to Amazon in 2001; a revolving door in the executive suite over the past few years; expensive long-term leases; and a huge debt load. But for us there were other factors that hurt Borders, some of the company's own making, some it had no control over:

    The purchase of Borders by Kmart in 1992 was not so bad in and of itself, but Kmart's decision to merge Borders with Waldenbooks, which Kmart had bought in 1984, was disastrous. From computers to company culture to focuses on different types of readers, Borders and Walden were a bad fit, and hobbled each other. For Borders in particular, the timing couldn't have been worse: in the early '90s, chain superstores were beginning major expansion, and Borders was distracted by the ultimately unsuccessful effort to merge with Walden. Successive regimes at Borders never seemed to appreciate Walden, which at one point had some 1,300 stores, except perhaps as a cash cow.

    For many years, Borders, which was spun off by Kmart and went public in 1995, had several CEOs from outside the business--for some reason, two came from food retailing, notably Hickory Farms and Jewel-Osco, and hired many other top executives from outside the book business. While having some people from nonbook industries could provide fresh air and helpful new perspectives, this tendency seemed to have a corrosive effect on a company that in its early years was famous for its knowledgeable booksellers and solid, deep selection. One minor measure: it's been years since anyone has mentioned the once-legendary book quiz given to prospective Borders staffers. Likely most of the people running the company in the past few years wouldn't pass it.

    One of the worst ideas brought in from the grocery store world was category management--the guiding principle of the company for a good part of the last decade that involved publishers sponsoring and managing sections--which maybe made sense for food retailing but was a mind-numbing distraction for Borders and publishers alike when the company should have been addressing some of its long-term problems, developing its own website and preparing in other ways for the electronic revolution.

    One of Borders's early advantages--its computer system, the creation of Louis Borders in the company's early years--became dated after the Borders brothers sold the company to Kmart. For many years, Borders and Walden continued to use separate computer systems. In addition, the Borders system has continued to use proprietary bar codes, which means that every book ever sold by Borders has had to have a special sticker printed out and applied to it, usually over the industry-standard bar code that is printed on all covers and jackets now. Stocking and restocking in the Borders system lagged behind its competition.

    From our point of view, Borders's last chance for a turnaround came during the period when George Jones, CEO from 2006 until early 2009, headed the company. He undertook a series of initiatives, including extensive store remodeling, taking back the company's website from Amazon, creating (again) a publishing program, improving merchandising and buying processes. He also spun off most of the international operations, which were usually profitable, but which many considered a distraction. Unfortunately, the financial collapse in 2008 shook the company to the ground, bringing on the Ackman-LeBow era of the past two years, when a hedge fund manager and a corporate raider, both of whom represent the worst of American capitalism, took over and drove the company into the ground.

    The record of William Ackman and Bennett LeBow at Borders has involved inadequate investment, brutal staff cuts, the squeezing of remaining employees, a revolving door in the executive suite, deals that seemed to benefit them more than the company and other shareholders, deafness about the company's problems and the hiring of more management with no experience in the book world. Last year, who could not believe the end was at hand when the new chairman and major shareholder of Borders turned out to be a man who had a history of destroying companies, "borrowing" from them, and whose claim to fame was taking over a cigarette company?--John Mutter

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  3. #3
    Good Enough Thai Boxer 9901's Avatar
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    08.28.16 @ 11:47 PM
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    Yeah this whole thing hits home for me personally because my wife works at the Borders here in Boise. She was telling me that her store is one of the more profitable stores in the region but no-one at the store is sure if they will close or not until later today.

    I really hope they dont close the store though because my wife has worked there long enough to be a supervisor or the manager so if they closed the store, it would be like pulling the rug out from under her feet.
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  4. #4
    Master Bluesman Elwood P.'s Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 02:42 PM
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    Sucks. Borders here is a pretty neat place to shop around/browse. Bought alot of stuff there over the years. Hope it stays open. Then again I've bought alot of stuff from amazon the last couple of years so I guess it's my fault as much as anyone's.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 03:32 AM
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    I better see if I have any gift cards left.
    Sorry to hear about this store....it's one I liked.
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  6. #6
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    Default

    I used to shop at Borders every now and then until I got a Nook. I never understood why Borders didn't get into the ereader market.

  7. #7
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    11.03.17 @ 01:35 PM
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    Default

    This really doesn't surprise me, as the last time I was in a Border's store, I was less than impressed with the selection and quality of the titles. BN seems like they are trying, but even they are getting bad....more often than not, I seem to find myself at Books a Million than anywhere else.
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  8. #8
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 11:45 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    I used to shop at Borders every now and then until I got a Nook. I never understood why Borders didn't get into the ereader market.

    actually they sold several ereaders and had a site to sell ebooks.but as with everything Borders, it's been a slow roll out

    ..the Kobo reader was well reviewed and a lot of people talked about it surpassing the kindle

    kindle and nook prices dropped and that hampered their sale


    borders problems are very complex and have been hanging around for a very long time....I think they only reason they have hung on the past few years is BN;s problems

    there was talk of a buyout/merge at one point....but BN had so much trouble with their own debt and the epic fight between its chairman of the board Riggio and an investor group led by Ron Burkle...if they hadn't been so distracted by that, they probably could have positioned themselves to kill off the ailing Borders by now

    what interests me about this scenario is that the book industry has been more and more directed by the small handfull of buyers from the chains like Borders, BN Costco and Sams/walmart

    this small group has been driven not so much by the quality of the books as the quantity of the books they buy....very few chains are really in a position to push a small university press or independent publisher author.

    everybody is looking for the blockbuster and for that, they look to established authors..so to see how this will affect the publishers will be interesting..they have a lot a stake with these big chains

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  9. #9
    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 02:06 PM
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    I would say the book store is going to go the way of the music store. First of all the books are way over priced at book stores compared to online stores like Amazon. For instance, just before Christmas I went to Borders to pick up books for myself and my son for Christmas. He wanted the full Harry Potter set, Borders wanted $99.99 for the soft cover set, Amazon was $59.00 with free shipping. Also the book I wanted was $29.99 at Borders and 14.99 on line.
    Second of all the younger generation will go the way of the ebook and I think the older generation whop still want the book will buy it on line.
    I think this is good news for the smaller bookstores too. We had one in our town about 10 years ago that was great until Borders and Barnes and Noble moved into a neighboring town, across the street from one another no less.
    Last year another small book store moved in to town that is great. Small but with a great selection and if they don't have it they will order it and have it in a few days.
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  10. #10
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    10.23.15 @ 04:49 PM
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    Daisy - to your point, it's why many authors are self publishing. Getting a book published when you are not an established name is next to impossible.
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  11. #11
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 10:54 AM
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    Unfortunately I think this is just the beginning for book store chains with physical locations. Maybe one or two will come out the other end. 10 years ago if you told me that Hollywood Video would be gone and Block Buster is circling the drain I would be shocked.

    I know...people still want to be able to buy a book and hold it, then when done add it to their collection, I get that. I think that we will see the local Ma and Pa book store make a come back or some sort.
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  12. #12
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    04.28.16 @ 08:41 PM
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    Can't say I'm too torn up about this, always preferred Books A Million to Borders, they have better coffee. Pretty much sounds like they did it to themselves anyway over the years due to bad business dealings behind the scenes and refusal to embrace the electronic age. I guess you live and learn though, unfortunately most of the time too little too late.

  13. #13
    Gird your loins Daisy Hill's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 11:45 AM
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    here's the first closure list...none of the stores I shop at are affected...so far

    and thankfully, I'll always have Powells! (I hope)

    http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/...osure-list.pdf

    survivor of the Bowling Green Massacre 9-3-2016 BGSU 10 OSU 77

    She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

  14. #14
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLO View Post
    Unfortunately I think this is just the beginning for book store chains with physical locations. Maybe one or two will come out the other end. 10 years ago if you told me that Hollywood Video would be gone and Block Buster is circling the drain I would be shocked.

    I know...people still want to be able to buy a book and hold it, then when done add it to their collection, I get that. I think that we will see the local Ma and Pa book store make a come back or some sort.
    Just imagine how the e books will revolutionize text books. My daughter wants a Kindle for her birthday and when we started talking, it made me realize that by the time she gets to college, this will probably be the way you buy texts books. Book bags will be half their size, big enough to carry a Kindle type reader and a laptop to take notes.
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  15. #15
    Eye suffacozza YEWW! Goo's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 12:07 AM
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    Be very interesting to see what happens in the Book market over the next few years. While music seems to be moving largely online it's always been a younger demographic that buys the bulk of music purchases. Books are spread a bit more evenly I would imagine.

    Although having said that I really don't know what percentage of people even bother paying for music these day. I always make a point of purchasing my music, but I think I might be in the minority..
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