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14 January 2011 @ 07:51 pm
Borders Hires Restructuring Lawyers  
WSJ Article
 
 
 
borderscorp on January 15th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Borders Group Inc. is continuing talks to a secure a $500 million credit line and has hired bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers, said people familiar with the matter.

Borders has chosen law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman to advise on its current refinancing efforts, these people said. Kasowitz's instructions are to keep the company out of bankruptcy court, one of these people said.

To that end, Kasowitz met Thursday with publishers to pitch them on a plan to defer payments and is talking with GE Capital about providing a new revolving credit facility that would replace existing debt, this person said.

The new credit line would provide about $500 million in fresh capital and perhaps more, this person said, allowing Borders to repay some $220 million in current outstanding senior debt. Borders hopes the new financing can provide a bridge for the company over the next six to 12 months while it rearranges its business, this person said.

Representatives for Borders and GE Capital declined to comment.

Several major publishers remain unconvinced about the proposed refinancing after hearing more details about the plan from Borders and its advisors this week. It is a sign that the impasse between the nation's second largest bookstore chain and some of its suppliers is likely to continue.

"Nothing has changed," said one publishing executive. "There will be further discussions between experts representing both sides, but the question is why would you extend further credit if you don't have confidence in their strategic plan going forward? However, it's still a very fluid situation."

The nation's second largest bookstore chain halted payments to key publishers and distributors in December, and some publishers have stopped shipping books as a result.

The retailer continues to receive new books from a key supplier, Ingram Content Group, a unit of closely held Ingram Industries Inc. based in Nashville, Tenn., that handles titles from a wide variety of publishing houses.

A second publisher said they are evaluating the various alternatives. "It's a negotiation," said this person. "If the refinancing succeeds, Borders will have more cash and it will put them in a position to do more building on their membership program, which is off to a good start."

"It's hard to tell what will happen at this point," added this publisher. "None of the alternatives are great."

Borders is asking vendors to defer payments in exchange for an interest-bearing promissory note of about three years in duration.

Under the plan, the notes would be secured by Borders collateral, one of the people familiar with the matter said, though the details were still being worked out.

GE wants less money going out the door to publishers if it provides new financing for Borders, one of the people familiar this person said. The person said GE wants publishers to show "shared sacrifice."

Borders hopes to get the multi-layered deal—new financing from GE and agreements from publishers to defer payments for interest-bearing notes—by early February, this person said.

Kasowitz has been advising Borders for some time, and joins restructuring advisers from investment bank Jefferies & Co. as those in talks with the company about rearranging its finances. Kasowitz wouldn't prepare a bankruptcy filing for Borders except under a worst-case scenario, the person said.

While Borders has yet to win over publishers, discussions between the two sides will continue. One area of negotiation: the terms of the interest-bearing note. At Thursday's meeting, publishers say a possible sweetener was floated to provide them with collateral for the note. Details of what form that collateral might take could not be learned.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
That Rewards+ cards appear to be the substantial component of the survival plan is a big part of the problem. But it's not the only factor. The Rewards+ program long-term is pie-in-the-sky. It is difficult to believe that publishers are dumb enough to buy this nonsense.

Borders is losing money because it has too many money-losing brick and mortar stores. Those stores aren't suddenly going to be profitable in six to twelve months. The "profit deficiency" arises out of being in poor locations with too much rent and too little sales. Rewards+ cards aren't going to change that.

Borders is also losing money because it's other strategy is to offer one item each and every week at 30% discount (and sometimes 35% and even 40%), and another 10% discount on top of that to Rewards+ members. It's a myth that it generates customers who buy more than one item at list price or just 10% off with the card. Ask any store employee and they will tell you that the smart customers just come in with two or three coupons and have other family members get the hefty discount on the second and/or third item. Is this going to change in six to twelve months?

One of his most recent initiatives for fourth quarter was changing all in-store signage to make things more appealing and less confusing to customers. I guess the fact that sales flopped in the fourth quarter shows us that, as has happened many times, one of Borders high-paid outside consultants sold them a bill of goods that changing signs would make things easier to find and improve sales.

All of these things happened under the leadership of Michael Edwards. If bankers and creditors have any brains they will insist on a new CEO. His total lack of any knowledge about the book and publishing industry has left him at the mercy of consultants who peddle snake-oil. I am convinced their goal to enrich themselves by pushing the business of spending thousands on signage, floor displays, and god knows what else to favored vendors. Remember the area-E displays that could not properly hold the Sony Readers. No one in AA figured out they needed to make the display compatible with the USB and other sockets on the readers. The readers wouldn't fit the holders.

Remember the highly touted newspaper inserts during the holidays? Stores were told to dump the second of the two issues because of a typo. In the middle of the holiday season, we couldn't find someone to proof-read an ad. And these people want millions more of other people's money to spend.

The e-reader, e-book program, is third rate at best. The same guy who has the arrogance to give creditors a take-it or leave-it proposal demanding they "share the debt" burden of the company's mistakes, is the same leader who said Borders expects to have 17% of the e-reader/e-book market within one year. Hey Mike, how's that fantasy working out for ya?

I don't criticize Lebow because he appears more like the useful idiot who got suckered in by his Drexel buddy. It's not Lebow's strategies that have failed. It's Edwards and Co.

This company needs new leadership, the ability to close 200 stores, an E-commerce team who knows how to build a workable bug-free web store and then promote it and seriously compete against the big guys. Then maybe GE or other interests into speculation can fund the next viable plan to save the company. Until then, it's just throwing more good money after bad.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 01:46 am (UTC)
What are you talking about with the area-e/Sony problems?
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Kovats idiot - (Anonymous) on April 5th, 2011 04:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - denardo on January 16th, 2011 02:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
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(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
I wonder what this collateral offered up to publishers is?
rush_808 on January 15th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)
I can't believe we have the nerve to expect the publishers to show a "shared sacrifice" and take on our debt. That is horrible! as if they did anything wrong. Next thing you know, we're going to be blaming them for shipping us books when they knew we couldn't pay. Disgusting. I hope this company and GE Capital fail miserably. How embarrassing!

bordersall on January 15th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
Agreed. And don't they already 'share' the pain by accepting returns? I think the refunding of unsold inventory is unique to bookselling. Correct me if I'm wrong.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 02:11 am (UTC)
So very sad
Was off work today and stopped into a B&N while I was doing errands. (Yeah, I am a bit of a masochist.)

Mainly I wanted to see how good their stock was, and of course it was terrific. Their displays were full and looked good. They were also inviting. The store was well-staffed, maybe better than usual because it was late Fri. afternoon and the store is in a major mall. I also realized, as someone commented in an earlier thread, that they haven't changed their basic layout, signage or style in years -- if ever. They chose a style that seemed to suit them, and they haven't thrown away money on pointless redesigns that only confuse the customers.

I checked on a couple of books in-section that aren't current big sellers but that I think a decent bookstore should have. Sure enough, they were on the shelves, but I haven't seen them on ours for a while now.

Mainly I just felt sad because I knew I was in a real bookstore -- the kind Borders used to be and probably won't be ever again, especially if corporate manages to get some kind of financing so they can continue their losing ways instead of a Ch. 11 that would force them out of their (dis)comfort zone.

If/When we finally go under, I won't try to get on at a B&N. Their culture is different from ours, which was one of the things I always loved about Borders. (Our culture now seems to be based on bargain stuff and Rewards Plus.) Instead, I'll just keep my memories of the worthwhile days at Borders, be glad I was there to experience them, and move on to something else.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 05:50 am (UTC)
Re: So very sad
Your comment was well-written. I feel that same feeling of melancholy and wistfulness.
Good luck to you.
Re: So very sad - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: So very sad - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: So very sad - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: So very sad - goingray on January 16th, 2011 03:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: So very sad - bordersall on January 16th, 2011 05:33 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
"You better pay me up front, beyotch."
And we're paying these lawyers with what? They better get paid first before they actually do anything for these losers.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
We presented our 5 years plan to the law firm. They will be instrumental in our restructure. We are planning to close 218 stores in the next fiscal year.

Jim.

(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 04:44 am (UTC)
We can't close anywhere near that number unless we're planning to break leases or buy them out. (Yeah, I know -- the posting was a joke.)
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(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 05:49 am (UTC)
Not only that, but they hired the cheapest and crapiest contractors to do the wiring and electrical work. There were many stores in our district and region where the "contractors" fried the wiring and blew servers, computers, and complete electrical systems.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 08:07 am (UTC)
The Big Publishers
One thing I'm not sure that upper management appreciates. The major publishers are part of some of the biggest and most aggressive conglomerates in the world. They'd clearly prefer to continue business with a Borders that sells their product, but they don't need us in the same way we need them. In fact if management pushes them too hard, they can do much worse than just not send us their books anymore.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 10:47 am (UTC)
The Rewards+ Dilemma
Borders Rewards+ has created a huge dilemma for the company's inept management. On the one hand the most effective solution to their crisis would be to file a Chapter 11. Even a prepackaged one in which they propose to shed a couple hundred stores so they can focus on the profitable stores. Use that as the foundation for building an revitalized on-line presence and turning both sectors (physical and on-line) into profitable operations.

Unfortunately they are so married to the Rewards+ model that they literally can't use Chapter 11 to reorganize because the instant the Chapter 11 is filed sales of Rewards+ literally goes down to zero. It forces you to ask a key question: Does Borders current management intend to be a retailer of physical books, e-readers and e-books, kids toys, and music/media, or is it's primary product a membership card?

One news report stated the Rewards+ program was "off to a good start." That sounded like the conclusion of someone who didn't do their homework. If your are basing your survival on a membership card, you better think in terms of retention rates after the first year. There is no reason to expect that Borders will be successful at meeting retention targets. Do they even have a projected retention rate? Every single Borders initiative of the last couple of years has produced less than expected results over the long term.

Even now, the numbers for Rewards+ are inflated. The Card is $20. But they have sold it with an immediate $10 off coupon and another $10 off coupon good at the end of February. So, they take in $20 but then give back the $20 in the first 30 to 60 days after the sale. Is that a model for making a profit?

The company needs a strategy - a viable strategy - to actually sell product that is not dependent on memberships. A model heavily dependent on membership revenue is a prescription for yet another failure.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
Re: The Rewards+ Dilemma
I couldn't agree more!!! the BR+ program is a joke for the reasons you illustrated. It sounds great to tell a bank that we are getting $20 in "free" money for each sign-up as CEO Edwards is so fond of saying only to turn around and take $10 away plus 10% off everything else on the next $30 transaction and then promise $10 in Borders bucks to be used during the last week of February..... assuming Borders is around in February!!! I have a modest amount of GE stock which I am contemplating selling immediately if GE capital is stupid enough to give Borders a dime in credit let alone 500 million!!!!
Re: The Rewards+ Dilemma - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 01:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The Rewards+ Dilemma - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The Rewards+ Dilemma - MaksFS on January 16th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The Rewards+ Dilemma - (Anonymous) on January 17th, 2011 01:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The Rewards+ Dilemma - (Anonymous) on January 17th, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The Rewards+ Dilemma - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The Rewards+ Dilemma - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 04:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The Rewards+ Dilemma - denardo on January 16th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The Rewards+ Dilemma - bordersall on January 16th, 2011 05:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 11:09 am (UTC)
rearrange?
"so Borders can rearrange it's business"? This harkens back to all of those analogies made to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
If there is a better arrangement, a better way, a more workable business plan---why did they not do this a long time ago?
There is NO better way that they are going to do business.
By saying this, they admit that management has been a failure.
Who is to believe that they are going to reform themselves.?
These notions are laughable. Borders pleading for it's life to the publishers and GM is just pathetic.
Will they be taken down and remade into some sort of Franken-Borders with the rescued parts? That is probably the best solution, until it just dies away.

All that money that they wasted on really, really stupid signage all of those years! What a waste! i can tell you that, beyond a doubt, much of it got trashed because threre was so much of it to change all the time and there was no system for storing it or organizing it.

And, those rewards cards have a very limited ability to bring in anything more than just a little initial cash when they are subscribed to by the customer. The customers are going to recoup their investment very quickly and NOT spend much more at all. And, the number of people who are willing to fall for that scheme will already have done so, leaving the pickings pretty slim after that.
These are NOT going to be an ongoing source of income for Borders. That is just nonsense, pure nonsense! This is a one time shot at the customer.
They cannot depend on the base of customers who have bought into this to sustain them. Are they not going to offer coupons to the general public as well? If they do, they alienate the rewards people. If they don't offer to the general public, they don't draw them in. Almost all retailers offer some type of rotating discounts to the general public anymore. It is just a standard business practice nowadays.

One of Borders greatest strengths in the past, IMHO, was the ability to interact with the local community. People saw Borders as something of a community institution. They began to sever those ties with the local communities some years ago.
Instead of asking themselves what they could do to capitalize on that sentiment and tailor the business to that crowd that was already loyal to Borders, they decided what they wanted to sell and tried to court the customers for it. They left their core customers and their core business behind. Thus the Phoenix stores and the make book and the rewards cards and the cajoling of customers in the store.
I don't think that they can ever go back. They have burned their bridges, in many ways. The general public has moved on to other sources and they have all they need with BN and Amazon.
Any entity with money to invest that expects Borders to return to profitability has beans for brains. The only motive for anyone attempting to bail them out would be to continue the financial shenanigans that have been going on for this last year or so, a financial football.
denardo on January 16th, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
Re: rearrange?
Will they be taken down and remade into some sort of Franken-Borders with the rescued parts?

Should this have been done years ago? Might going into crisis mode enable use to do this (in a good way)?

This might be the true Project Phoenix: we burn off the old body, and emerge anew. Or maybe just lay an egg.

Hm.. Kanye West mentioned Borders on the latest album, and had a long term video about a phoenix. What does he know that he isn't saying? (Probably nothing -- Kanye's never been known for his restraint.)
Re: rearrange? - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 02:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 12:10 pm (UTC)
The New Product
I just got word of what we're going to sell to help us achieve positive comps in 2011. One-hundred dollar bills for $95!
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: The New Product
I am a teacher and I have a coupon both of them come off the sale price, don't they?
Re: The New Product - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The New Product - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: The New Product - (Anonymous) on January 17th, 2011 05:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
This is unconfirmed, but Borders has supposedly made an offer to buy Amazon.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's right!
What they offered for B&N: 1 billion dollars

What it would take to buy Amazon: 200 billion dollars

Please.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
True, we offered to tender gift cards for the stock.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 04:22 pm (UTC)
You know things are bad when company stock is worth less than a Lindor ball.
bad - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 10:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: bad - denardo on January 16th, 2011 02:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 04:40 pm (UTC)
$1 Billion credit facility vs. $500 million
No one has discussed that this " new " $500 million credit facility is half the amount we had two years ago. Additionally the amount that we can actually borrow is dependent upon how much inventory we have in the DC's and stores, which is dwindling each week. There is no way to stock 500+ stores with this diminished credit facility. And why send stock to stores that are not even close to being profitable. We just can not afford it.

Why this Board of Directors has not demanded a Chapter 11 filing is beyond me. Beyond anyone. There is likely to be some litigation regarding malfeasance, improper insider information ( board to Ackman) , and just outright personal liability with this group of directors. Mr ackman screams about corporate governance in companies, but where essentially he has been intstalling the directors and mgmt for the last several years, there has been a complete and total catastrophic failure.

There are some 100,000 booksellers out there in America. Hopefully someone will produce a chronicle of what has taken place in the last 25 years in the publishing/book selling world. A story describing the growth and good years, along with the technological advances that are challenging the industry now would sell at least 100,000 copies.

You have to ask yourself, of all the retail companies that go through three or four years like we have, the losses, mgmt changes, tech challenges, etc., how many pull through and survive? Kmart? Sears? That's about it.

I do not care to be a part of that, there is more to life.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
Re: $1 Billion credit facility vs. $500 million
More like 650+ stores with airports and Walden.

You are right $500 mil is half of what it was. Consider the stores we have closed in total over the past 4 years or so and were the world wants us to be. If you read some reports they have this company at around 450-500 total. Not an accountant but $500 mil in credit is a better number to keep 450 stores stocked.
Re: $1 Billion credit facility vs. $500 million - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 04:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: $1 Billion credit facility vs. $500 million - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 05:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: $1 Billion credit facility vs. $500 million - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: $1 Billion credit facility vs. $500 million - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: $1 Billion credit facility vs. $500 million - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: $1 Billion credit facility vs. $500 million - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: $1 Billion credit facility vs. $500 million - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 11:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 05:02 pm (UTC)
War
All warfare is based on deception - SunTzu . The communication strategy is by design. Nothing is as it appears.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 05:09 pm (UTC)
Re: War
Provided that your leadership has the intelligence to comprehend and produce deception, that would be true and effective. But when they forget to pay for bullets and missiles, and the manufacturers of the amunition will not provide it, you first get your ass kicked embarrassingly, then you die.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
TeleRead article
http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/where-borders-went-wrong/

Key paragraph:

It seems to be the same old disruptive technology story: as with Kodak and digital cameras or Blockbuster and Netflix, Borders never bothered to keep up with other innovators in its field, and time just passed it by, Even its fling at e-books with Kobo seems to have been too little, too late.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
In the end Borders eBook and eReader strategy is correct. It’s a content game. They are however completely behind the curve. B&N will get killed with the new technology coming out and they can not make money with the Nook. The kindle still rules the market place after that it’s all about the tablet and the global brands like Samsung, Sony, Verizon, and Apple have the talent, capital, and marketing dollars to take share quickly. Kobo is getting significant positive press and the app is solid. This is a case we Borders incompetence might just work for them this year. If they get the GE deal done, watch were they put the investment and how the Kobo investment will play out ( Edwards spent 10 years in Technology). One last point, for every Nook sold this holiday means less physical books are going to be sold at B&N next year. They both have to re-define the retail mix and close stores quickly. You do not have to have industry knowledge to get this point – google – think they understand the fine art of book selling? It not about selling books anymore, it’s completely about figuring a business model that can deliver reading content any way the customer wants it profitability. Borders near term challenges will force the issue; B&N has more time but has the same foundational problems. Amazon will continue to dominate and they just might end up owning the publishers or going direct with all the top writers. Borders is not dead, anything can happen this year.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 06:15 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree that B&N will get killed - from what I've read, people who eread read more books than people who print-read. Also, they're targeting kids with the Kids Nook and NookStudy - kids growing up with the Nook will probably tend to stay with the Nook as adults. And, from everything I've read, the NookColor is quite an impressive unit, if you read newspapers and magazines (I don't think the Cruz compares at all with the NookColor). I have issues with the Nook on other usability grounds, but from a business standpoint, they're doing everything right.

In contrast, we seem to get Kobos returned 2 and 3 times before the customer gets a good unit, or else just gives up. The one we have to demo is embarrassing, because more often than not, the menu simply disappears before I have a chance to show off how it works.

And I've been told that it takes 20 minutes to an hour to get a digital book purchased at Borders.com into the library for downloading. That's ridiculous - digital is all about impulse buying. (and don't get me started on our "customer service" as compared to Amazon's!)

yes, content is the way to go, but unless we have decent readers, the content could just as well be written in Greek for all the good it does our customers who can't access their purchases.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - denardo on January 16th, 2011 02:25 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 06:04 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bordersall on January 15th, 2011 06:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
Is this really a Borders Employee Blog anymore?
I love reading the blog. It a nice collection of posts from employees, management, x-employees, B@N management, publishers and media. I vote for a name change ? Like FU Borders !
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Is this really a Borders Employee Blog anymore?
How about?

livejournal.com/i'msobitteraboutbordersthatnowijustcomeheretogripe
Re: Is this really a Borders Employee Blog anymore? - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Is this really a Borders Employee Blog anymore? - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Is this really a Borders Employee Blog anymore? - (Anonymous) on January 17th, 2011 12:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Is this really a Borders Employee Blog anymore? - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC)
It would be nice to get a balanced perspective.
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
Would be nice if that were possible ... but it is not.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 15th, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 06:15 am (UTC)
Just curious if anyone has ideas for what WOULD bring people into the stores? Other than discounts. Is there something that people value over saving $3 at Amazon? Sure the occasional signing event. Game night was a bust for us. We know they won't come in for glitter balls. Fred & Friends product flew off the shelves for our store at xmas but dunno other times of year how it will do. Thoughts?
(Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 08:44 am (UTC)
I think it is a lost cause.

Maybe some sort of focus on a huge selection of titles, trained and knowledgeable staff prepared to help you, and an acknowledgment that yes, the product has a non-discount price, but the purchasing act itself is a statement about the buyer's taste level and the merchant's role as an honest and honorable part of the economy.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 09:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 01:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Ideas - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ideas - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 04:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ideas - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 04:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ideas - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ideas - (Anonymous) on January 17th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ideas - (Anonymous) on January 17th, 2011 12:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Ideas - studterkels on January 17th, 2011 04:48 am (UTC) (Expand)
Bringing the spirit of Comic-Con to the fans! - (Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Bringing the spirit of Comic-Con to the fans! - studterkels on January 17th, 2011 04:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Bringing the spirit of Comic-Con to the fans! - (Anonymous) on January 21st, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on January 18th, 2011 03:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on January 16th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
"so Borders can rearrange it's business"? This harkens back to all of those analogies made to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
If there is a better arrangement, a better way, a more workable business plan---why did they not do this a long time ago?
There is NO better way that they are going to do business.
By saying this, they admit that management has been a failure.
Who is to believe that they are going to reform themselves.?
These notions are laughable. Borders pleading for it's life to the publishers and GM is just pathetic.
Will they be taken down and remade into some sort of Franken-Borders with the rescued parts? That is probably the best solution, until it just dies away.

All that money that they wasted on really, really stupid signage all of those years! What a waste! i can tell you that, beyond a doubt, much of it got trashed because threre was so much of it to change all the time and there was no system for storing it or organizing it.

And, those rewards cards have a very limited ability to bring in anything more than just a little initial cash when they are subscribed to by the customer. The customers are going to recoup their investment very quickly and NOT spend much more at all. And, the number of people who are willing to fall for that scheme will already have done so, leaving the pickings pretty slim after that.
These are NOT going to be an ongoing source of income for Borders. That is just nonsense, pure nonsense! This is a one time shot at the customer.
They cannot depend on the base of customers who have bought into this to sustain them. Are they not going to offer coupons to the general public as well? If they do, they alienate the rewards people. If they don't offer to the general public, they don't draw them in. Almost all retailers offer some type of rotating discounts to the general public anymore. It is just a standard business practice nowadays.

One of Borders greatest strengths in the past, IMHO, was the ability to interact with the local community. People saw Borders as something of a community institution. They began to sever those ties with the local communities some years ago.
Instead of asking themselves what they could do to capitalize on that sentiment and tailor the business to that crowd that was already loyal to Borders, they decided what they wanted to sell and tried to court the customers for it. They left their core customers and their core business behind. Thus the Phoenix stores and the make book and the rewards cards and the cajoling of customers in the store.
I don't think that they can ever go back. They have burned their bridges, in many ways. The general public has moved on to other sources and they have all they need with BN and Amazon.
Any entity with money to invest that expects Borders to return to profitability has beans for brains. The only motive for anyone attempting to bail them out would be to continue the financial shenanigans that have been going on for this last year or so, a financial football.
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