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Old 09-01-2010, 12:22 AM   #1
J. Strnad
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Borders' New Strategy for Survival: Stuffed Bears

The big announcement from Borders is that most of its 500+ stores will start carrying items from Build-A-Bear, which sells kits that let kids make their own teddy bears.

Article at Bloomberg.com

This is a fantastic marriage full of synergy. (Build-a-Bear's stock has gone down to about a fifth of what it was worth 3 years ago.) I'd say there's at least 23% more synergy than the legendary AOL/Time-Warner merger.

Borders is also enthusiastic about their new rewards program, which adjusts the discount on hardcover books depending on whether you choose the free program or the subscription program.

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Borders' desire for change also extends to its Rewards program. Customers now have two options: For no cost, they get 30% off the list price of hardcover bestsellers and free shipping for online orders of $25 or more; for $20/year, customers will receive 40% off hardcover bestsellers, 20% off select hardcovers, 10% off most everything else -- and free shipping for virtually all online orders.
See full article from DailyFinance: Article at Daily Finance

Thank god...I was worried about them. It's comforting to know that they have a solid business strategy and aren't just, you know, grasping at straws.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:59 AM   #2
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I love build a bear
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:03 AM   #3
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haha gotta love it.

If Borders are struggling, and Build-a-Bear is having trouble themselves....will they really be able to pull one another out?
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:30 AM   #4
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I am gonna miss them when they're gone, and gone they'll be soon enough. Those constant 33 and 40 percent coupons came in handy.

I actually hung out at one tonight (as I do every Tues while my wife takes the baby to Gymboree) and they still are not pushing the Kobo or Libre at all. They had an ancient Sony display and a few empty Kobo boxes out.

They also had a sign out at the cafe stating that effective Sep 1 they will be charging 35 cents for tap water. I'd be curious if that was just this store or everywhere.
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:08 AM   #5
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This makes some sense to me. Build a bear is normally housed in malls - so are a lot of B&N stores. Maybe they can consolidate a little. Kind of like gamestop and EB games and Software Etc were everywhere after their merger, until they closed down a few excess locations.

And build-a-bear is definitely in the gifts speciality category, just like the board games, kids books, and some other stuff that they stock now.

It is a little weird though. But hey, anything is better than the massively overpriced CD and DVD area.
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:11 PM   #6
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It opens up all kinds of other possibilities.

Watch retailers, for instance, have been hit hard by the cell phone market. Sales are way down because so many people tell time with their phones rather than wearing/buying wristwatches. I've seen stores close.

But what if the watch stores also sold rubber chickens? Voila...instant synergy!

Tower Records could probably have saved themselves by devoting one part of each store to selling hammers, and Hollywood Video would still be in business if they'd only added rubber stamps, fresh cut flowers and collectible hood ornaments to the mix.

Yessir, Borders is really onto something!
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:15 PM   #7
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Another bad quarter: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...801258254.html

but then again...bears.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:46 AM   #8
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Another bad quarter: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...801258254.html

but then again...bears.
Well they were a bear market, might as well make it official.
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:00 AM   #9
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I am gonna miss them when they're gone, and gone they'll be soon enough.
I really miss them over here in England, there was a huge Borders in the city where I live & I absolutely loved it. Now we've just got a Waterstones, a WH Smiths with hardly any books & a small Blackwells. Even our university book shop is closing.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:23 PM   #10
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The Internet Killed B&N.

or so Goldilocks wants us to think...
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:40 AM   #11
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Hmmm, maybe they should start having Krispy Kreme, too, to replace (or enhance) their Cafe. Another fad that is hanging on but past its prime.
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:30 AM   #12
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Hmmm, maybe they should start having Krispy Kreme, too, to replace (or enhance) their Cafe. Another fad that is hanging on but past its prime.
Yeah, that was a good flash in the pan, too, one of those businesses that becomes a celebrity until people realize, "You know what...it's a donut."
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Old 09-03-2010, 05:09 AM   #13
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...They also had a sign out at the cafe stating that effective Sep 1 they will be charging 35 cents for tap water. I'd be curious if that was just this store or everywhere.
That would be illegal in Arizona.
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:29 AM   #14
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yet donuts and coffee go better with books than build a bear... or is it me?

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Hmmm, maybe they should start having Krispy Kreme, too, to replace (or enhance) their Cafe. Another fad that is hanging on but past its prime.
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:59 AM   #15
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