Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a paperback copy of The Wednesday Sisters!
Recently, Shelf Awareness mentioned an article on the website 24/7 Wall Street, “Twelve Brands That Will Disappear by End of 2010“. Unfortunately, Borders Books is on their list.
Click through the read all of the predicted casualties, but here’s the blurb for Borders:
Borders (BGP) has struggled for several years as the No.2 operator of book store behind Barnes & Noble. When Border’s released its last set of earnings it said it would cut the number of Waldendbooks stores from about 300 to 50 or 60. With Border’s losses, that won’t be enough. The pressure from online book operations led by Amazon (AMZN) and new e-book readers is overwhelming Borders. In the fourth quarter of last year, sales at Border’s branded stores dropped 15.3%. For the full year 2008, Borders lost $157 million on revenue of $2.8 billion. Borders recently extended its $42.5 million senior secured term loan with Pershing Square Capital Management, moving the due date to April 1, 2010. That may be the day that Borders goes away. Border’s shares trade at $1.47, down from a 52-week high of $8.02.
I know Border’s has been struggling, but I didn’t think anyone would project they would go away! This projection saddens me for a number of reasons:
- I love Borders. I don’t like how Barnes & Noble has their stores set up, so I don’t like shopping there.
- I’m nervous about what this would do to the publishing industry, who sell a large amount of books to the big chains. I assume that Barnes & Noble could take up any slack, as will all independent book stores, but that still doesn’t change the fact that a large purchaser of books is knocking on death’s door.
- Where will groups, such as the knitting group I’m in, move to? Borders is very open to having groups meet at their stores, and all those groups will be displaced.
In the past year, I’ve bought fewer and fewer books at Borders, choosing instead to purchase from local independent bookstores. So while this possibility of Border’s closing makes me very melancholy, I’m excited for what this could mean for independent bookstores.
- Would independent bookstores make a comeback if Border’s folded?
- Will independent bookstores become the bookstore standard, with knowledgeable staff and handpicked inventory?
I’ve never imagined what life would be like without Borders, but I think it would probably be good for society to have to go back to the independent bookstores. If I had to choose, I’d rather the store that was on life support was Barnes & Noble, but somewhere in my life someone forgot to name me God over the book world, so Borders it is.