4/7/10

Borders Closing?

Here's something I found. Even though they are in trouble economically, note the part about digitizing books, and the Kobo e-reader Borders is developing. I don't like it and feel it is a bad thing for the publishing industry when a bookstore chain closes its doors. But could this be the wave of the future? And a possible good thing for epublishers and ebook authors? 

Borders Group

Associated Press

The printed book market just doesn't seem large enough for Borders anymore. Borders is the second-largest bookstore chain in the U.S. behind Barnes & Noble. Unfortunately for these companies, bookstore chains are going the way of the dinosaur with Amazon digitizing books and becoming the largest online seller of books in the United States. Borders is developing a Kobo e-reader to try and compete, but with e-book readers from Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble, Borders may be living on borrowed time.

How troubled is Borders? The company's stock currently sells for under $2 dollars a share. Borders has to repay a $42.5 million dollar loan due on April 1. If Borders can raise this money, the bookstore chain still faces a $360 million dollar note payment due July 2011.

Perhaps the most damning sign was that the company's CEO left to take a job at a supermarket chain. The company's short-term hopes lie in getting creditors to refinance debts. The best hope for long-term survival is an acquisition by a larger bookstore chain like Barnes & Noble.

What do you think about this?

Kaye

12 comments:

Obe said...

I hate it. to be honest. I want to hold that book in my hand. I can't get a magazine or a book without traveling for an hour to a Barnes and Nobles. Our Waldens closed in January. Its like a vast wasteland. As for ebooks, I've had so many stolen with no hopes of getting them to stop. I'm a bit disappointed in the whole market.

Amber Skyze said...

All our local Waldens closed. It would be sad to see Borders close too.

Suzanne Jones said...

We've had several bookshop closures over the past few years - independants and the big chains. So sad.

PS there's an award for you over at my blog.

Kat said...

It's a shame but not surprising. I don't think printed books are going to ever go away but I think the internet plays a major role. Amazon is doing so well not only because of Kindle but they don't charge sales tax on what they sell to states outside their corporate area. In a world where massive job layoffs and higher costs for everything are nipping at consumer's heals, every monetary break is appreciated. Plus, Amazon has free shipping for any order $25 and over. It's a big break. Other companies need to follow that lead if they want to compete in today's rather dismal economic market.

Kaye Manro said...

Thanks for stopping by Obe. Yeah, I have to agree with you on that. And it is so sad that all the stealing of ebooks goes on and on and nothing can be done, so far.

Agreed Amber, I too will hate to see Borders close.

Suzanne, it is very sad. (Thanks for the award!)

Kat-- great informative comment! It is so true. Thanks for your opinions.

Debs said...

Such a dreadful shame to read this.

We haven't had any bookshops closing where I live, but that's probably because we only have WHSmith and Waterstones for a population of 85,000 people.

Sarah Simas said...

What a bummer! I live in podunkville and the only bookstore around is a Borders Express. If I want a bigger selection, I have to drive 25m to a fully stocked Borders. If the closures happens, I'll be left with driving 45m to a B&N.

I do order some things online, but only if I have a gift card. lol I don't like waiting for delivery. What a big ole stinking bummer!

Helen Hardt said...

I don't like it either, but this does not surprise me. Big retailers have been losing money ever since online shopping took hold over a decade ago. And now, with ebooks and keeping it green all the rage, large book retailers just won't be able to compete. But it's such a loss -- I for one love spending hours browsing and relaxing in a bookstore. We should enjoy it while we can!

J.A. Saare said...

I think it's very sad, as my favorite place in the world to be is a bookstore.

Although I'm certain the market plays a part (e-presses, technology, etc) I also know the economy is being hit hard.

Angela Kay Austin said...

As a new ebook author, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about everything. I love sitting in my bookstore by the window in a cozy little chair sipping on some outrageously priced coffee drink. Why? I don't know, but it feels amazings comfortable.

If I had my choice of a huge 2 story building or a small mom and pop bookstore which do I prefer, mom and pop. They know me, and I know them. They sit books aside that I like and everything.

Why do I like Amazon? Price, speed, and availability.

Do I love my Kindles, yes, and as an ebook author, I'm glad others do, too.

But (as a marketer), I do think that the market is saturated with too many companies offering the same thing with no differentiation, just unnecessary trimmings that increase the cost without changing or enhancing the experience.

I would hate to see anyone lose their jobs (I know how that feels). Perhaps this will turn around, and they will streamline. Enhance the experience, lower the costs, and get a stronger hold on the #2 position.

Linda Banche said...

Borders isn't dead yet. Publishers Lunch reported on April 1 that Borders has secured long term financing. Their debt picture has improved since a year ago, but, things are not rosy.

I love Borders. They have a great selection of romances, much better than the #1 store. The #1 is about 4 miles from my house, but I never go there. The Borders is 20 miles away, but fortunately, across the street from my husband's office, and he doesn't mind picking up a romance for me.

As for books, I don't care what format they're in, as long as they're good.

Catherine Bybee said...

I'd like to see smaller bookstores out there. I do think there will always be a place for bookstores. I love my e-reader, but won't read it in the tub. Too expensive of a splash if you know what I mean.