My Obvious Prediction for 2011


My preferred bookstore, Borders, is not long for this world and will close down well before December 2011. The writing has been on the wall for a while now (pulling out of the UK, closing stores in the US), but two events this weekend sealed the company’s fate for me:

  1. Borders announced recently that they won’t be paying some publishers.

That’s bad enough, but then:

  1. Borders Reward members got a two day 50% off coupon good for this weekend, right after that announcements.

Sounds to me like they’re trying to bring in a fast infusion of cash to make some payments, at any price. Doesn’t matter if they lose money on each sale; They only need to bring in a lot of cash in a short time period. This is a great short-term fix, but does nothing for the long-term problems.

The optimist would say that they’re hoping to get customers in the door, and more people will buy more than just that 50% off book.

I think the optimist is deluded, if such a person exists.

2011 will be the year that leaves us only Barnes and Noble for a nationwide bookstore chain. And how long will B&N last in a world where Amazon sells everything for 30%+ off with free shipping and without the need to pay for an annual membership?

I love bookstores, but I don’t spend money in them anymore, unless I have a big fat coupon. I don’t think I’m alone.