Borders Done In by Its Own Stupidity, Not Internet

Other retailers adapted, just not Borders
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2011 10:15 AM CDT
Customers leave the Borders bookstore in Boston, Monday, July 18, 2011. Borders Group filed for bankruptcy Monday, after seeking court approval to liquidate its 399 stores when the company failed to receive...   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(Newser) – Video might've killed the radio star, but Borders Books wasn't done in by the Internet, contrary to the claims of its top brass. A better factor in the liquidation—and loss of 10,700 jobs—would be the host of bad strategies Borders' management enacted, writes Annie Lowrey in Slate. Sure, the Internet has made retailing more difficult, but other book sellers have adapted. "It died by a thousand—OK, maybe just four or five—self-inflicted paper cuts," she writes.

Borders' No. 1 problem? Leaving the Internet to Amazon, while trying to boost its physical stores. Not developing an e-reader until last year—three years after the Kindle debuted—was a big mistake, too (even then, the Kobo has not gotten much love). Too many big, expensive, and unprofitable stores with 20-year leases also locked the company into long-term losses, not to mention over-relying on CD and DVD sales. "[O]ther companies adapted," writes Lowrey, "Borders just didn't."

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