Sunday, March 20, 2011

Borders going out of business "stamp"

Borders Going Out of Business "Stamp"
Shot this on iPhone yesterday on a return trip to the going out of business sale at Borders West in Madison. Perforated border and processing in-camera with CP Pro app.


Anonymous said...

My husband is one of the 40 or so soon to be ex-Borders employees from the store, so I can fill in a bit. Liquidators now own all the books etc. in the stores that are going to be closed (which is why you can't use Borders coupons at the West location). Yes, this has always been a successful location, and because of that it is indeed getting restocked from other stores that are closing but not selling through as quickly.

And by the way, no one's really explained the reasons for closing this location, since it's always done much better than the east side store and the landlord would have been thrilled to renegotiate the lease. But bear in mind that they're closing most of the stores that are considered university stores (including the flagship store in Ann Arbor), so it may be that whatever their calculations were, perhaps they decided that academics aren't their audience anymore. It's also the case that liquidators don't want all crappy stores, so perhaps this was a sop. Also, this is a company that's been making really bad decisions for the past 15+ years, so this could be just another example of that.


Madison Guy said...

Sue, you and your husband have my sympathy, from a long-time Borders customer. This just seems to be rubbing salt in the wounds -- closing the best of the Borders stores, so that they could be used to boost sales for the liquidators. Sad to have my guess confirmed. So sad what happens when clueless corporations take over once thriving businesses and run them into the ground. (now they're trying to do the same thing to our state, through their pawn, Walker.)

Sure the book publishing business is changing radically. But the solid Borders stores -- the ones that had developed real community roots -- unlike the corporate over-expansions into ill-conceived locations -- could probably have made that transition, if it weren't for corporate bungling.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, that's sweet. It's actually been kind of nice for him and the other staffers that so many people in the community have come up to them to express their appreciation for the store and to express sympathy. My husband has two part-time jobs lined up (one of which he's already started and that will become full time when he's done with Borders), both because area employers came into the store to hand out business cards.

It is a shame that they couldn't have kept this store, and the sales in recent weeks have shown that this location is one of the better ones in the company. Plus, it has a lot of history -- this was store number 3. My husband's been with Borders off and on since 1992 (he took a few years off for grad school, then decided he didn't like academia and went back). The early years of Borders were great -- staff were paid well (for retail at least) and felt like they had a voice, stores had everything you could imagine, they had an excellent inventory system that meant they really stayed on top of what each store's strengths were. Then you're right, they over-expanded, and they also were caught flat-footed on innovations time and again. In the mid-90s my husband was in charge of his own store in the Chicago area, and he vividly remembers the annual meeting at which the company president scoffed at Amazon and the very idea that Borders should consider setting up their own website. By the time they did, they were so far behind the curve that no one really thought of looking to them for online ordering. Same thing with e-readers. And it used to be that each store had a fair amount of autonomy, since different books appeal to different markets, but in the past few years uniformity has been the rule (dictated by the corporate overlords), hence big displays of Sarah Palin at a store that will only ever sell five copies.

And I'll stop before I start ranting about Scott Walker. You do a lovely job of portraying what's at stake with his mis-rule.