You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 04, 2016, 12:27:00 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt  (Read 3640 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline RemielTopic starter

Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« on: July 25, 2011, 09:31:03 PM »
Borders Bookstore to close its 400 stores, as nobody appears interested in buying the failed book chain.

When I heard the news, I was distraught and dismayed.  First Crown, then Tower, and now Borders collapses beneath the feet of the digital tyrant.  I don't have a Kindle; I'm sure they are neat and nifty, as all expensive and shiny new toys are.  But, for me, they will never be able to replace the experience of a bookstore, or simply holding an actual paperback copy in my hand.  Call me a  Luddite, but Amazon will never be able to replicate the reality of losing a few hours browsing among the shelves, of sitting down with a new graphic novel or pulp fiction while surrounded by enclaves of classical literature. 

Technology marches on, but I, for one, will miss my local bookstore.  Rest in peace, Borders.  Thanks for the memories. 

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 09:39:45 PM »
You know.. i don't think the Kindle (or Nook or Kobe or Sony's e-readers) did the Big Book empires in. I think it was the fact that the only people making money off the chains (given the sheer volume of books they have to buy) is the Publishers. Given how they are about e-books, I'm sure that the Publishers are squeezing every dime out of them. I know that Borders killed 3 small town book stores that I hung around when I was in the Navy. The problem was that they bought EVERYTHING, which the old stores couldn't.

The problem for them is.. They BUY everything. You can't sell all those books everywhere, it just can't be done. You want to blame someone, blame the publishers who demand bulk book buys by the big companies like Borders.

Offline Aiden

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 09:40:40 PM »
I can not say I am surprised. I feel sorry for the jobs lost in this economy but that's business!

Hell I recall, D.O.W, Circuit City, The Warehouse and all those other businesses that fell to "Best Buy" and online shopping.

I am a Barnes and Noble shopper, never liked Borders.
>.>

=D

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 09:43:46 PM »
I can not say I am surprised. I feel sorry for the jobs lost in this economy but that's business!

Hell I recall, D.O.W, Circuit City, The Warehouse and all those other businesses that fell to "Best Buy" and online shopping.

I am a Barnes and Noble shopper, never liked Borders.
>.>

=D

I have pretty much lived in Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million. I've bought, shelf-shopped, and wandered around them all. Don't let my prior post make it seem that I hate big book stores.. Just saying they are a victim of the system they set up. With the downturn, they couldn't compete with the need of people to feed/fuel and cloth themselves and I KNOW the publishers wouldn't alter their contracts if it meant them losing money. (After all, after they shoved the 'hard cover' prices for e-books down Amazon/Apple's throats, did they paid anything extra to anyone else? Nope)

Offline Will

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 09:46:46 PM »
They closed most of the Borders around here a few months ago, actually.  It sucks, but I prefer the smaller bookstores anyway.  As long as Half Price Books is still around, I'll be happy. >.>

Offline elone

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 11:15:58 PM »
I liked Borders a lot, one of my prime Christmas shopping locations. I can understand how the sheer volume of books they carried would make them unprofitable in some way. They could never sell all that stuff. I for one just like to walk and browse as well. How do I find that on-line? I enjoy being able to pick up a book, read a few pages, and see if it looks interesting. I like books, sorry, but I am just old fashioned in that regard, same with a newspaper, not much on electronic reading. I even like the smell of a new book. Try to duplicate that internet.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 11:32:01 PM »
I liked Borders a lot, one of my prime Christmas shopping locations. I can understand how the sheer volume of books they carried would make them unprofitable in some way. They could never sell all that stuff. I for one just like to walk and browse as well. How do I find that on-line? I enjoy being able to pick up a book, read a few pages, and see if it looks interesting. I like books, sorry, but I am just old fashioned in that regard, same with a newspaper, not much on electronic reading. I even like the smell of a new book. Try to duplicate that internet.

Well I know that I had a friend, think he worked for Borders, whose least favorite job was pulling 'old paperbacks' for new ones. The company couldn't sell off the stock and had to tear off the covers and throw away the books. Couldn't turn them over to recyclers, resellers or anything else.

Like I said.. the publishers are the only ones making any 'real' money in this. By squeezing their system and clients. After all, they can always get more. The idea of changing their market models isn't appealing.

Offline PhantomPistoleer

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2011, 12:01:49 AM »
I thought that the Kindle wouldn't compare to a physical book, but you try to read War & Peace without breaking your wrist.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2011, 12:55:17 AM »
I thought that the Kindle wouldn't compare to a physical book, but you try to read War & Peace without breaking your wrist.

It's got it's points.. I like the 'cheap' books that folks self-publish. There are some good 0.99 to 2.99 range books. Most of the books on my Kindle account are stuff I'd buy in paperback anyway. (With a few exceptions like the Wikileaks books and some truly HUGE computer books).

I think the problem is, like the Music/Movie industry, is the printed media industry is stuck in a century old business model. They didn't like Amazon at first, if they had their way they'd shoot the inventor of e-ink displays.

New growing markets that don't fit their business model scare them. The publishing houses got upset when folks started e-publishing using PDF and document files, the innovations in printing/binding and 'micro-publishing' upset them even more. Look at what Rubert Murduch's publishing house has done with the e-book lending program libraries use.

They basically designed their books to self-delete after 60 'check outs' and make the libaries re-buy the books. Though they don't do the same with dead tree books. There is a 'milk it till it screams' outlook in publishing and they are one of the worse culprits in copyright issues today. If folks like Random House and the rest of the publishing industry had their way, fair use would be gone and ip would have infinite lifespan and nothing would ever go into public domain again.

Offline Jude

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2011, 04:17:36 AM »
The one thing I really don't like about digital media right now is that the consumer hasn't quite picked up on the fact that it's all vastly overpriced.  To the average person, the asking price being relatively comparable in store and online (especially for the most popular books) seems reasonable.  Problem with that is, they're actually making a much higher profit margin because costs are are lower -- digital products cut out distributors, shippers, and manufacturers.  Nevermind the fact that thanks to smart phones and the Kindle you're carrying their shop with you everywhere you go -- you can't get better shelf space than in someone's pocket.

Companies aren't pushing the digital frontier to meet people's demands or for convenience sake, they're doing it because the core aspects of the book business are making more off of each digital product sold.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 04:20:21 AM by Jude »

Offline Lilias

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2011, 04:33:19 AM »
I don't believe ebooks have anything to do with the collapse of major book chains - certainly Waterstones and W.H. Smith are alive and well over here, and last year the major physical book retailer, in neat sales numbers, was Sainsbury's (yes, the supermarket chain). The only Borders I've been to used to be in Heathrow Terminal 2, and it was closed down in favour of a domestic chain in 2007. Don't ask me which one; even the terminal itself is gone now.

What I'm hopeful for now, like so many others, is that the collapse of that giant business will restore some breathing space to independent booksellers. The dead tree isn't going away any time soon, and that's from someone who loves her Kindle.

Offline Valerian

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2011, 06:52:40 AM »
* Val has read War and Peace in Real Book (TM) format, and her wrists are just fine.

I work for a bookstore chain, the small kind -- we've got about fifty stores.  But my boss, whatever his faults as to giving out raises, is good at figuring out what will sell and what won't.  We emphasize local authors and books of local interest that aren't always readily available, either at big chains or online, get involved in the communities where we have stores through donations, book fairs, etc.  And while the bad economy is hitting us somewhat, we're doing all right.  We're starting to supplement the business by adding the ability to purchase online books through our website, but that's far from a major source of income.  (E-books are, in my opinion, hideously overpriced, and also don't usually include much history, my usual reading preference.)

One good thing has come out of the Borders closing for us, though -- lately, we've had malls around the area seeking us out, calling us up and offering us good deals to move in to the spaces where Borders used to be.  This costs us much less in setup than usual, since the space is already designed for books; makes it easier for people to find us; and also generally means that there are some already trained people around for us to hire.  We've moved into three former Borders locations, and in one case we re-hired almost the entire former staff.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2011, 09:22:38 AM »
Okay call me old fashioned I prefer a book I can hold, smell, spill stuff on, mark up, fold or so wahtever with but savor the interaction with it - and won't be useless when the techheads decide to come up with the next best thing. Its like VHS I love that to the big cassettes, the indestructibleness compared to DVD's of the tape and the classic look of the movie without oodles of extras I usually don't care about.

Borders had on problem it couldn't run a profit selling books that are new in stores over Amazon.com, eBay and used version later at secondary markets. Frankly its a simple problem big stores, books across the board which is nice but not always profitable if one is not finding budding scholars to buy them and other issues.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2011, 06:41:52 PM »
Having worked in bookstores, I really have to say that it is not the digital movement that is doing Border's in. The problem stems directly from staffing problems and stocking issues, and mostly the latter.

Having shopped in Borders stores all over the country I have never visited one that had consistently helpful and knowledgeable staff. My acquaintances  who have worked at Borders tell horror stories about their training, management, and co-workers. Even when the employees are nice and friendly they consistently don't seem to know their stock or be generally knowledgeable about their merchandise. But I am willing to grant that that may just be my personal experience.

The big problem with Borders, and what I believe led them to going under, is stocking issues. Borders tries to stock exclusively current and big name authors and keeps constantly eating the cost of old stock to shelve new stock. The problem with this is that they rarely have anything for the sizable chunk (possibly even the majority) of bookstore shoppers that are not looking for currents, or who are looking for a current and something else.

The last four times I have gone into my local Borders I have come out empty handed. The employees are generally very helpful in telling me how they can order this or that for me. But at the same time I can do the same thing, and probably for a cheaper price from Amazon. Now, even if I want a current, I order it online because I am usually ordering several other books at the same time and it is just easier (and usually cheaper). Borders can't compete with that.

The way a company like Half Price Books deals with this is to have a hub of stores in an area all of which have differing merchandise. Thus the HPB stores in any given area have a decent chance of having at least one copy of any given book and collectively have a selection much larger than any Borders (which even if it has the same number of stores in an area makes all stores cookie cutter copies of each other). You may have to drive a little out of your way to get a book that the employees put on hold for you, but it beats waiting a week or more for it to show up in Borders' next shipment or waiting on it to arrive from Amazon.

Basically it has nothing to do with digitization, and everything to do with the fact that instant gratification and service is the only way a physical merchant can outperform an online merchant. And Borders' business policies just couldn't cut it.

I am sorry for all the people losing their jobs from this though. It's a bad time to be out of work.

Offline CmdrRenegade

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2011, 10:15:11 PM »
After going on several looting trips on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I feel a bit bad.  Now I know what a vulture feels like.  I'm sad to see it go.  Having all that stuff to read got me through unemployment stints and kept me from going nuts.

Offline Caela

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2011, 08:12:37 AM »
I love real books, but I love my Kindle too. For curling up in bed at home, nothing beats the feel of a real book in my hand. For traveling, there is nothing better than being able to carry a virtual library with me and the ability to buy any new book that crosses my fancy without adding to the weight of my luggage thanks to my Kindle.

I am sorry to hear that Boarders is going out of business. They aren't a prevalent chain where I live (B&N and Schulers pretty much lock things up here) but are a favorite of many of my family members in other states and I've bought from them online when family sends me gift cards for them. I am sure more than one beefed up there book collections with the going out of business sales and don't think anyone should feel guilty for it. That's what sales are for, so you buy more than you would have otherwise. It may be a sad reason for a sale, but you're still meant to take advantage of it.

Here's hoping the other bookstores learn from Boarders mistakes.

Offline Malefique

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2011, 07:50:20 PM »
We never had a Borders in my town, but we have a Waterstones which may well go since most of what it stocks that might sell well is also sold much cheaper not on Kindle, but at the supermarket.  For instance I got my youngest the Skulduggery Pleasant hardback she wanted from a supermarket for £5 when Waterstones were offering it as a special reduction at £9.99.  And I can't afford to spend twice as much as I need on a book.  I have a Kindle and I don't buy anything over £5 for that unless it is a specialist book which would be very pricy in paper format.  Most of the stuff on it is free download or under £1. If I could get the choice of books I want at the prices I can for Kindle I would buy them, but they don't sell the stuff I like in the bookshops, they sell the mass market stuff that very rarely interests me. I do like real books but I mostly keep that expense and shelf space for things like graphic novels and art books, which suck on Kindle.  And I buy them from Amazon and the Book Depository because I get a better choice at a lower price.  That's market forces for you. 

Offline meikle

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2011, 04:16:39 AM »
I buy all of my books on Amazon.  I guess I lead to the fall of Borders.

Oh well.  I liked their store, but compared to Barnes and Noble, it just felt so empty -- and compared to Amazon, it felt so expensive.

Offline js207

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2011, 06:42:53 AM »
We never had a Borders in my town, but we have a Waterstones which may well go since most of what it stocks that might sell well is also sold much cheaper not on Kindle, but at the supermarket.

*nods* Someone, presumably also from the UK, posted earlier that Waterstones and WHSmiths are doing fine - I actually get the impression Waterstones aren't doing that well financially, and WHSmiths rely quite heavily on their distribution monopoly (newspapers/magazines through their wholesale arm) rather than book sales for revenue. My nearest Borders closed a while ago - but the writing was on the wall when the little Starbucks outlet on the top floor had more turnover than the rest of the building combined: that just can't be a viable business.

Having looked it up, Waterstones made a 2% profit last year, though the parent company (which I think just sold them?) made a big loss overall. WHSmiths shares fell recently after announcing sales were down 4% year-on-year. Hardly what I would class as doomed - but not exactly booming either.

Like a lot of people, I buy almost all my books through Amazon - and the rest through supermarkets. I can't even remember the last time I bought a book in a "bookshop" as such!

Offline Lilias

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2011, 08:05:58 AM »
I was the one who posted that. :-) We had one of the two Waterstones in town close recently, as well, though it had always been redundant, since it was literally across the street from the other, bigger branch. WHS do depend on their stationery and press for continuing sales, but I can't imagine their book offers going unnoticed either.

If I could, I'd buy all my books at the local independent shop (which recently celebrated 30 years in business and shows no sign of stress). The people there are as big fantasy geeks as I am. As it is, though, I have to depend on Sainsbury's 2-for£7 offers, and Amazon Marketplace.

Offline Falanor

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2011, 10:23:11 AM »
To be completely fair it wasn't tech that destroyed Borders.  The deal they had been working on with Books-A-Million fell apart and they had already been liquidating all their in store stock to make sure the deal could happen.  When it didn't they were left with nothing to do but declare and liquidate all their stock in warehouses.  Had Books-A-Million been able to complete the deal we wouldn't be decrying foul to the technological revolution.  Though, myself, I would have still gone to B&N instead cause I've never had a positive experience with Borders until they were liquidating all their stock.

Offline TheLovelyMaid

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2011, 12:36:10 PM »
I've always referred to Borders as my favorite store.  They gave out paper book-marks all the time at the registers, and I still have one that says, "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes" - Erasmus

That quote sums up my entire relationship with Borders. I'm sorry to see it go. :( 11,000 more people without work also saddens me.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2011, 03:26:07 PM »
I got to admit most of my 'paperback' purchases are now 'kindle' purchases but when I get a hard cover, it's split between book store and Amazon (aside from class books which under the 'cheapest price' rule. Typically Amazon or Half.com.) I normally get my Mac Magazines from the Books-a-Million in Orange Park  and most of my comics/game purchases from the Friendly Local Comic stores when I can (or direct from the vendor)

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2011, 01:40:54 AM »

Offline Lilias

Re: Borders Bookstore to go Bankrupt
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2011, 03:16:14 AM »
If you can't eliminate Amazon or Sony, go for the little cousin. If that comes through, bye-bye Nook.