On Turning 29

On Turning 29
Just my age.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Borders: Why It Failed

Borders the great bookstore chain is under the bus and it could be the final act for them. I was at first a bit saddened by their departure to the great heaven of failed businesses. I can imagine borders playing tennis in business heaven with Tower Records, Crown Books and The Warehouse. But I am digressing. I just want to point out a few key mistakes that has caused this mega giant of a bookstore chain to fall and finally fail. I used to work at Borders in the spring of 2005 and I even tried to warn management, but of course like most people who are in charge of something there never fucking listened.

The first problem with Borders is that they allowed customers to hang out on the premises and allowed them to take their books and magazines into the cafe area and let them sit there and read and enjoy their products. In a perfect world this would be fine but in a capitalist driven society like the one we live in, it is bad for business. It is bad because a lot of people would either read the magazines or books they were interested in buying or they would find out what a piece of shit novel they are reading and in reading the books they would damage the book(we'll get to this). I know that the philosophy to Borders is that they wanted to be a cool and hip hang out joint, but in terms of turning a prophet, it is one of the shittiest ideas I have ever heard.

What Borders should have done, was not allow customers to read their books in the cafe and impose a time limit on people looking at the books. This could have been achieved by having spotters in the bookstores and making sure the public didn't get a freebie by reading the entire book.

On top of having people read their books in their cafe, Borders should never and I mean never have offered free WIFI. Free WIFI means that people will buy the bare fucking minimum in order to stay and then get all their web surfing done for practically nothing. However I do applaud the shittiness of Border's free WIFI. If you have ever used their WIFI then, you know what a piece of shit service it is. I have used Wifi all over the city and they rank in the bottom 3 of the worst WIFI given.

I would never have allowed free WIFI. I would have either never allowed WIFI or I would have charged for WIFI. See Borders is a company that needs to make a lot of business all the time and they sell products that don't have a high mark up, but WIFI is almost pure profit, plus if you charged for the WIFI it would have been faster and offered a better internet service. Most of the products in Borders are overprices anyway.

Another thing that killed Borders is their prices. Sure they had a hell of a deal for the the Top 40 bestsellers. People like Stephen King, Anne Rice, James Patter and John Grisham had their novels sold for quite a good deal, but if you ever anyone else you ended paying 2 or 3 times more then you have on amazon.com. DVDs, CDs and Blu Rays were outrageously priced. I mean where in this world do they have the balls to keep charging 29.95 for a special edition DVD of The Wizard of OZ, not blu ray but a fucking DVD. I mean I know Borders has scouts of how cheap Blu Rays and DVDs are nowadays, but what the hell man? I had heard through the grapevine their that they wouldn't make a profit if they offered great discounts, but who the hell would buy a DVD at $30 when you can probably get it for half at Borders.

I think that Borders should have gone the Best Buy route. Now that place has great deals. Imagine how much fucking money they would have made if they offered Blu rays, and DVDs at Best Buy prices. To me Borders was one of the better places to find Blu Rays, the really rare ones, but you had to pay an arm and a leg. The Blu ray of Se7en, cost me nearly $40 and at Best Buy yesterday I saw it for 20. That's bullshit.

Probably the biggest problem with Borders is the quality of the books and their inventory. First let me talk about mangled and gross a lot of the books looked like. If you are looking for a book and it happens to be the last copy, then you will probably get a book with a broken spine, bent pages and have to pay full fucking price. It's a shitty feeling to shell out $25 for a novel that looked like it was the public library. I am not ragging on the library, but their at least you can read the books for free.

Also Borders never seemed to have anything but the top 40 bestsellers. I mean if you are into graphic novels, they will have Vols 1,3,4,5,10 and that'll be it. Also those graphic novels will look like shit or they been used and abused. Its no wonder that company went out of business.

I used to grift Borders all the time in their hey day. I would switch tags, and Jedi Mind trick the cashiers into giving me discounts and I felt good about that. I figured if my book looked like a dog had been chewing and pissing on it, then fuck the big corporation book store. They don't respect their customers, why should we respect them. I think the staff should have caught on, I mean when does a 300 page graphic novel omnibus cost only $9.99?

The answer to stopping this. Maybe if Borders payed their staff more then $10 per hour they would give a shit about what they are doing. See to me Border symbolizes a lot of what America is these days, they want to have the perception like that care about you, and want to make you feel loved, but it's such a thin coating of bullshit, that I am surprised that they have lasted this long. People, hardworking normal people, can see through phony crap.

I have heard that the reason Borders is out of business is due to the electronic books like on the Amazon Kindle, but I just think that was a small part of it. Amazon, offers the same books cheaper and not in crappy condition. I think that is what truly killed Borders. Not the internet sales, not the e books, but the fact that Borders didn't seem to really care. Amazon is a giant faceless company too and with shipping they can almost be the same price of Borders, but I one gets a better vibe from Amazon. So long Borders, we hardly knew ye!

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