Wednesday, February 16, 2011

HOW TO SAVE YOUR LOCAL (BIG) BOOKSTORE

A few ideas for Borders' restructuring:

1. Rename certain locations "Boarders" and open a boutique hotel in the corner, between the stationary and the stuffed animal factory.

2. Just keep adding more and more diverse niche areas, until each store turns into an enclosed bazaar that happens to sell books. And deep-fried meat on sticks. And, just maybe, human organs. (This is bankruptcy, right? You gotta pull out all the stops.)

3. Get ahold of one of them new-fangled Com-POo-Tors. That'll bring the kids in.

4. Franchise the local stores and sell them back to community owners. Huh. Kind of like the local independents that were run out by the superstores back in the day.

In all seriousness (in some seriousness), Borders kind of missed the boat on that whole e-book trend. Which isn't surprising since bookselling was the first industry to suffer an e-surgency. Oh, except for music, which, long ago in a galaxy far away, sustained a small, hardly memorable (Napster and Metallica anyone?) shift toward the digital.

From a cursory review of the list of 200 stores slated for closure (that's 6,000 jobs, according to Reuters, which makes the big corporate problem a local, personal challenge), it appears that my local Borders escaped this cut. I'm glad to hear it. This Borders has a kick-ass Sci Fi/Fantasy section and regularly has local authors in for signings. Also, the cashiers are super nice. And they are always stocked up on Swedish Fish.

EDIT: I missed the listing of the Anchorage store when reading the fuzzy 4-pt font .pdf file. It is scheduled for closure.

But I wonder how the restructuring will affect this store. Will the better employees leave, looking for employment security? Will the publishers sell the store fewer copies of books, or none at all? Will the espresso machine break down every time I want a latte? Will buyers eventually forget the Borders patriotism they felt today, and stop going?

What did you think when you heard the news today?

4 comments:

  1. You beat me to it...ace you're always three steps ahead of me

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  2. Congratulations on the 'Sweet Blog' award from Sam at "A Slight Detour"!

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  3. thank you so much, Cathy. Congratulations to you, too!

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