No surprise on Borders

Janine Melnitz: You’re very handy, I can tell. I bet you like to read a lot, too. 
Dr. Egon Spengler: Print is dead.

-Ghostbusters, 1984

By now, you have heard that the nation’s second-largest retail book chain is shutting its doors. Borders was already bankrupt, but was hoping for a reprieve. It didn’t come.

In some ways, this story has been one long in the making. Borders failed to evolve with the times. The stores were big (bigger than Barnes and Noble in most cases) and were getting cut by Walmart and Amazon. The later two discounted books, while Borders sat idly by.

The biggest non-move was Borders slow-to-the-jump effort into the tablet market. Think about it. While Barnes and Noble unleashed the Nook in 2009 and Amazon offered up the Kindle in 2007, Borders partnered with e-reader maker Kobo in 2010.  According to, Kindle estimates from 2010 projected that the company sold more than 8 million units in 2010.  Amazon also said late last year that it held around 70 percent of the e-book market, while Barnes and Noble said the Nook had 20 percent of the e-book market late in 2010. That leaves only 10 percent for other e-readers, like Kobo.

The bottom line is that, with any business, you need to adapt. You can’t settle on early success because there is always someone waiting to overtake you. In this case, Borders was passed by the brick-and-mortar Barnes and Noble, and Amazon’s ability to offer more for less online.

What are your thoughts on Borders closing? Let me know in the comments.


About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on July 20, 2011, in Hot Topic, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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