Charlotte Border’s Falls Victim to Consumer Internet ShiftJuly 25, 2011 by: Tara
Yesterday, while on my personal quest to find a vegetarian cookbook with recipes that don’t seem to be borrowed from martians, I went to my local Border’s bookstore in Charlotte, NC. Turns out I was entering a zoo rather than the quiet and peaceful bookstore I had always loved.
Border’s has gone bankrupt and that was extremely evident upon a quick glance around the store. Huge yellow signs garnished the windows and walls, announcing the liquidation of the entire store. People were everywhere, swiftly headed every direction, frantically searching for the best deals on their favorite books, CD’s and movies. The once organized and tidy bookstore was now a chaotic disarray of strewn books. Nobody cared to return books to their rightful sections any longer. In fact, the lucky books were the ones that actually made it back onto a shelf in one piece.
Amidst the chaos, it occurred to me that this marks a change in an era. As technology is evolving, so are the markets. It’s very possible that we will continue to see a sharp decline in paper book sales as the use of eReaders, such as the Amazon Kindle, become more widespread. While I have nothing against advances in technology (after all, I do love my Macbook and Android smartphone), it’s sad that Border’s and other traditional bookstores are facing problems competing against the revolution of the eReader’s.
Top booksellers, Amazon and Barnes & Noble, will be okay through the entirety of this economic downturn and new frontier in reading. However, their success should not be attributed to being “better” booksellers than Border’s. Amazon began the eBook craze with the introduction of the Kindle and took with them a large percent of the market share. Barnes & Noble then smartly followed suit with the Nook, allowing them to stay competitive in the new market.
For Border’s, the introduction of the eBook may have been the last straw after Amazon previously shook the market by shifting the public toward the convenience of online shopping.
It’s unfortunate to see a traditional bookseller fall as society gravitates toward a more on-demand lifestyle, but it’s a more than subtle reminder that in business, keeping up with the Joneses is key.
Written on July 25, 2011 by Tara Suess, Marketing Intern, eSynergize Online Solutions