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Top 5 Causes for Borders to Disappear (and What Will Take Their Place)
Borders was a different place when it opened its first shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan, forty years ago. For years, Borders pretended it wasn't what culminated in this week's proclamation that it would close its 399 left. During the entire downturn, Borders was on the brink of collapse, briefly flirting with an offer to buy Barnes & Noble (a step most market research firms considered desperate, false and financial impossible) and in February applied for restructuring under receivership when it began to close a third of its then 659 businesses.
So what was it that made Borders compel him to compose his last section? Borders has been outsourcing its bookselling to Amazon.com for years. Similarly, Borders did not anticipate the emergence of e-books like Amazon and later Barnes & Noble. They have not developed their own e-reader to rival the Kindle or Nook, and Borders opened an on-line e-book shop just a year ago.
When you went into a Borders, you hardly knew they were selling e-books for gadgets like the Kobo and Cruz. But Barnes & Noble gave it all with the 2009 release of the Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble Nook. If you go to a B&N now, the Barnes & Noble Barnes Newsstand will stare you right in the face.
The borders simply became too big - so big that many of his shops (estimated at 70 percent) competed with a Barnes & Noble's and offered a flood of bookstores, even as consumers moved into on-line buying. By the time the 2008/09 economic downturn struck, Borders was already burdened with an enormous burden of debts.
However, Borders could never get out of the pit in which his ineffective commercial practice had stuck. As a bookstore, Borders developed over the years into a multi-purpose enterprise store. By the time it eventually cut back its musical holdings, Borders had more costly sales areas than necessary, which put further downward pressures on its sales models.
So what's gonna happen in Borders? Despite declining earnings at the end of last year, Barnes & Noble continues to be lucrative and Credit Suisse believes it could take over half of Borders' retailing work. There still seems to be a place for old-fashioned bookshops - but not in the scale and extent they were.
The number of independents in the USA even rose last year. However, the real situation is that more and more consumers are turning to electronic literature. One of the reasons B&N has been able to avoid the destiny of Borders is Nook, which has successfully taken a fourth of the e-book industry away from Amazon.
Borders' deaths do not necessarily mean the beginning of the end for a book. However, the era of huge malls seems to be over.