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It’s a Bad Day for Books

July 19, 2011

Borders announced on Monday, that it was unable to reach a deal for a going-concern sale to salvage its 400 remaining stores and 11,000 jobs. A liquidation sale of its inventory and store contents will begin as early as Friday.

I believe this is a symptom of the state of the publishing industry as a whole and answers the question, “Can a retail ‘brick & mortar’ business compete with online giants Amazon and eBay?”

The answer is a resounding “NO!”

I only wonder how much longer Barnes and Noble stores will be able to survive.

Over the last decade some powerful retail businesses have fallen victim to price pressure served up by online stores. Retailers Circuit City, Comp USA and Sam Goody, all succumbed to the pressure of competition.

Retailers across the board are suffering from market pressure and margins are growing too thin to support real estate and payroll. The ones to survive will be those that have established a strong online presence and are a price leader in an already crowded retail landscape.Wal-Mart, Target and Best-Buy are all feeling the effects of a soft retail environment as unemployment still hovers above 9% and consumers are clenching disposable income like never before.

For better or worse, Best-Buy has become Amazon’s “Try before you buy” store. Will they be the next big box to end up on life support? Time will tell. In the meantime consumers benefit from low prices and quick delivery.

Now all I need is a tablet that doubles as a cell phone. (And the money to pay for it.)

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One Comment
  1. Rose S permalink
    July 19, 2011 1:59 pm

    I am one of those people who can (and do!) literally spend hours roaming the aisles of the local Borders. Whether I am on a work break, killing time, or on a mission to find a particular book, Borders is my store. As a voracious reader (and mother of 3 equally voracious readers), I am saddened by the need to close down one of our favorite family hang-outs. Barnes and Noble tends to be pretentious and stuffy (and therefore less inviting) and Books-a-Million is only good if you are looking for whatever is “popular” – Borders is going to be greatly missed by me and mine.

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