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Old 11-26-2009, 07:48 AM   #1
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Borders UK enters administration

If you've been following publishing news this past week you'll have read the reports about Borders UK having financial difficulty. Distributors walk away, Borders website stops taking orders, Borders UK up for sale, etc. The latest report from The Bookseller blog is that Borders UK has entered administration.

Edit: It's now officially happened. London based MCR has announced that it has been appointed as administrator for Bokrders UK.

In the coming weeks at least one uninformed reporter will claim that ebooks killed off this company. That reporter is an idiot. If anything killed Borders UK (other than managerial incompetence), it was the internet, not ebooks. In the US (which has the most developed ebook market) ebooks account for about 1% of book sales. Web retailers account for about half of all book sales. Which do you really think affected a brick&mortar store more?

Last edited by Nate the great; 11-26-2009 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:19 AM   #2
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Very sad to hear this.

I can't imagine that our local store (Cambridge) will now remain as a bookstore being that it is right next to a WHSmith (if you can call that a bookstore) and not far from a Waterstones bookshop. Another shop I suppose which is going to remain empty for months
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:23 AM   #3
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A shame, as our store is a very good and well supported shop. I hope it is able to continue as a bookstore.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:35 AM   #4
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I'm sorry to hear this. The Cardiff branch of Borders is rather close to a Waterstone's. So I don't suppose that it will survive, which is a great pity.
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:41 AM   #5
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Oh no - a bookstore closing. I must check if they have anything to do with Borders here in Oz.

Why they are closing? Who knows these days - the financial market is so intertwined and conveluted I doubt anyone could work it out.

But usually these days it's that they borrowed more money then they could repay. Just like people who own 10 credit cards and are surprised they have to pay the debt back.

But regardless - always a shame to see a bookstore go.

Just checked : Borders Australia is a subsidiary of A&R Whitcoulls Group Holdings PTY Ltd so hopefully safe

Last edited by Katti's Cat; 11-26-2009 at 09:45 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:45 AM   #6
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I don't know about other parts of the country, but here in Edinburgh the Borders was doomed from the start by its lousy location: in an edge-of-town shopping centre that's particular difficult to reach from most of the city. It had no chance of prospering in that locale.

You'd think an experienced retailer like Borders would know better.
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Old 11-26-2009, 03:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katti's Cat View Post
.............

Just checked : Borders Australia is a subsidiary of A&R Whitcoulls Group Holdings PTY Ltd so hopefully safe
I remember the old Whitcombe and Tombs bookstores from my New Zealand childhood. And A&R is Angus and Robertson (?). Is the world going to be taken over by one huge blob like book-business entity absorbing all other bookstores? Arghh!

The Melbourne Central Borders always seems to have plenty of traffic, though that may not translate into profits. I do find it unpleasant to visit though, with its bland, populist collection, and poorly maintained shelves.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:25 PM   #8
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I always found Borders store layout a lot better than Waterstones, but their prices a lot more expensive than both Waterstones and WH Smith. I would browse Borders noting all the new books then buy them elsewhere at a better price.
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:30 PM   #9
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Ebooks wouldn't have killed them, but competition from online sellers wouldn't have helped (and the supermarkets selling best sellers at super low prices). Also let's face it - people read less because their heads are stuck in their phone, facebook or in front of a computer game or TV.

I don't mind if journalists write innacurate reports on the closure suggesting ebooks played a role - more publicity for ebooks and more incorrect info suggesting ebooks are taking over the world!
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:36 PM   #10
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Libraries

Personally I think it's great that the highstreet bookshops are getting hammered. I detest consumerism and most book buying is just consumerism as far as I'm concerned. Owning books is nothing. Reading them is everything.

Would love to see a resurgence in libraries.
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:39 PM   #11
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definitely not e-books

Borders UK (no longer connected to Borders USA - they were spun off a couple of years ago) almost certainly did not fail because of e-books. I am sure Amazon.co.uk had a lot to do with it, but also there was the particular "mega-store" model they inherited from their US origins. Retail space is vastly more expensive in the UK than in the US, especially in prime locations, so I am guessing there was pressure on their margins from the start.

Now Borders USA is a different story - I think their e-book strategy is crazy and I wouldn't be surprised if that is not a factor in their eventual demise.
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:05 PM   #12
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I agree with Mike L on this one. Here in Leicester, the branch of Borders is at an out of town shopping centre that is difficult to reach without a car.

The book stock is superb there, and they have quite a few books that are not available in either of the city's two branches of Waterstones, but I have been there maybe four times in ten year of living here.

Shame really, but agree with the OP -this is not the fault of e-books...
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Personally I think it's great that the highstreet bookshops are getting hammered. I detest consumerism and most book buying is just consumerism as far as I'm concerned. Owning books is nothing. Reading them is everything.

Would love to see a resurgence in libraries.
I go to (or used to before eReader) to the library every week. But it annoyed the crap out of me that I had to wait up to 9 months for a new book (waiting lists so long) just because someone in their wisdom decided to buy only a small number of copies.

Here in Brisbane they have also introduced 'Fast Read' which means I can get a new book for 7 days only, extension not possible.

Our library catalogue is sluggish, the employees hardly informed. What happened to the good old times where a librarian knew the readers, was good at recommending books and always up for a chat about books?
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:35 PM   #14
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Borders UK (no longer connected to Borders USA - they were spun off a couple of years ago)
Borders US had a 16% stake. They'll have taken a loss on this, but not a massive one by any means.

Blue Calx - I lived in Leicester for three years and was not even aware it had a Borders until you posted about it!
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:07 AM   #15
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Here in Brisbane they have also introduced 'Fast Read' which means I can get a new book for 7 days only, extension not possible.
That's a really good idea. They don't have that at my local library as far as I know.

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Our library catalogue is sluggish, the employees hardly informed. What happened to the good old times where a librarian knew the readers, was good at recommending books and always up for a chat about books?
Libraries can be hit and miss but all the local libraries I've ever used in Sydney have been great. They've always managed to provide me with plenty of varied and interesting reading material.

As for catalogues being sluggish I'm very happy to read books which are 10 or 20 years old. In fact I prefer it. You always run the risk when reading a brand new highly recommended book that it's just a fad. I always wait a few years for the dust to settle before reading any highly praised work.
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