Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Run for the Borders

Friday, March 21, 2008

Run for the Borders

It's not a good time to own a big box store. We talked quite a bit about Tower Records going down last year and the fire sale it left in its wake, and then the Chicago Virgin folded, as well. CompUSA closed a number of stores last year, and since then they closed almost everything before being bought out by Systemax, the parent company for Tiger Direct. At the same time, Borders was pulling back, as well. I wondered if it was a portent of things to come, and it turns out that it was. Borders came out on Thursday and admitted that it is looking into putting itself up for sale.

Borders has said that it simply can't compete against and other online outlets or the deep discounts of Wal-Mart. Although Wal-Mart certainly sells books for cheap, it's never seemed to me that they have a particularly broad selection. Does that mean that customers mostly want to stick with the best-sellers? I suppose that if Wal-Mart has only a selection of 100 titles, that plenty wide enough if you want to get one of those titles and nothing else.

Keep an eye on what happens at Borders. Barnes & Noble has suggested that it might be interested in buying. I'm sure there are others out there that might want to consider it, as well. But if Borders follows the Tower Records model, there will be some great deals going on there before they close everything out altogether.


At 7:42 AM, March 21, 2008, Anonymous Jim C. said...

The chickens are coming home to roost.

I remember back in the old days of whale oil, high button shoes and independent booksellers ...

Borders came to town (much like Barnes & Noble), and *everything* was discounted. They undercut prices, and the people flocked in.

Nowadays, all that competition is gone, and Borders really only discounts the newest or the best-sellers. And sales have fallen off? Tsk. Tsk.

At 9:44 AM, March 21, 2008, Blogger Stuart Shea said...

It sucks that Borders, B&N, and B-A-M put so many small booksellers out of business...but losing Borders would be a shame, and bad for consumers.


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