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Borders Going Out Of Business

I was about to write about something else, but when I heard the news, the other topic became less important. Sad news. Borders is going out of business.

I was a frequent visitor of the Borders bookstore in downtown Boston. A very cozy store where I bought many books. I cannot imagine downtown without the Borders store.

Putting personal feelings aside, it is a sad story not only for Borders customers. It is sad for its competitors. Obviously, there will be a loss in revenues for Amazon and other online stores since many customers browse books in bookstores before going online and placing an order. In other words, online stores benefit from bookstores without actually spending a penny there.

Borders should have reinvented itself by mixing regular book sales with online store and e-book sales. May be Borders considered that and this model did not justify expenses.

But I think this is a form of the tragedy of the commons. Bookstores have a good impact on the society. Kids like to come to bookstores, explore books and play. This is how they learn. This is how they develop curiosity to knowledge. They cannot yet browse online books. They like to touch them, explore their different forms and shapes. There is no replacement for this.

One may argue that Barnes and Noble is still around. But loosing a competitor is bad for the consumer.

Borders will be missed and its disappearance will have a noticeable impact to the society, although, not attributed directly to Borders as it will take years to notice that impact. Sad.

  1. July 19, 2011 at 08:43

    According to the WSJ, the store in downtown has about 40K sq ft. On another site I saw the space was available at that building for 34$/sq ft per year. This is $1.36M in rent just for one store.

  2. July 24, 2011 at 10:28

    Since Borders Group is going out of business it also means that the website (online) is going out of business. Kobo owners, however, should not get affected by this.

    On the other note. Book-A-Million tries to buy a few Borders superstores with inventory. I hope they buy the store in downtown Boston. I heard that one company wants to take that place (10-24 School Street) and convert it into offices. This is not good for Boston.

  3. Tara Young
    July 10, 2012 at 17:47

    This was not only sad for the customers and competitors. It was also sad for the employee’s who worked there. I was one of them. I worked there for 14 years thought I was there till retirement. That didn’t happen and now I’m having troubles finding a new career.

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