By Joe Waynick
I never expected this. I thought Borders would emerge from bankruptcy a stronger company after shedding most of its debts and excess overhead. That’s what most large companies do. But now they say they’re going to liquidate all 400 of their retail stores.
Indie booksellers shouldn’t be too quick to celebrate the demise of this large and formidable competitor. Think about all of the suppliers who are stuck with unpaid invoices, or at best, only receive pennies on the dollar.
The website DealB% reported ”When it filed for bankruptcy protection in February, Borders owed $272 million to its 30 largest unsecured creditors, including Penguin Group USA, Hachette Book Group, Simon & Schuster, Random House, HarperCollins and Macmillan.”
Furthermore, Yahoo Finance reports the New York Times as saying some publishers are planning on shorter print runs now that they’ve lost a major distribution channel for their titles.
And worst of all, think about the 11,000 employees who will lose their jobs in an already tight job market. What will happen to them?
At least some of the stores will be bought by other national bookstore chains reports the Washington Business Journal, as demonstrated by Books-A-Million’s (NASDAQ: BAMM) desire to buy as many as 35 of them.
That’s good news for employees at stores targeted for acquisition. But announced plans to buy defunct stores will only save about 1,500 jobs.
Thus the 40-year reign of this venerable bookseller will soon come to an end. It’s particularly sad and personal to me because Borders was my all-time favorite bookstore. It seems they always carried the type of books I liked to buy in abundant quantities.
In fact, I would spend hours browsing through their bookshelves discovering new and exciting titles by pure chance. I’d lounge around in their comfortable chairs; maybe hang out in the coffee shop skimming through a book before purchasing it.
The sights, the sounds, the hustle and bustle of people coming and going make browsing a truly unique endeavor; an experience that can never be duplicated online. And that statement is coming from an avowed Internet bookseller.
Borders, I’m going to miss you.
For more free articles about selling used books online for profit, visit: http://www.internetbookselling.com.
Joe Waynick is author of “Internet Bookselling Made Easy! How to Earn a Living Selling Used Books Online” (ISBN 978-0983129608). You can contact him at: http://www.internetbookselling.com/contact.html