Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Borders might be sold... Previous Next
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Detx
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Username: Detx

Post Number: 118
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 6:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=/20080321/B IZ/803210353

One of my fav stores. Actually bought a book there just a few hours ago...

I think the universities in Michigan really need to improve their business schools.
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Miketoronto
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 824
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 6:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think all these chain stores having problems shows that we have way to many stores.

When are these companies going to realize they don't need a store in every single mall, power centre, and street corner in our metro areas.
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 1048
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 6:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Funny how 10 years ago the talk was how Borders, Walden, Amazon and other big "chains" were going to drive the independent out of business. Now the local bookmerchants are thriving and it's the chain that's in trouble.

Miketoronto is correct in a way. Where the chains have problems is that they don't know how to stock the 2,400 sq. ft. that they have in the mall. They're basically a "bestseller" store, and when you can by bestsellers everywhere from Albertson's to Wal-Mart, why go to the mall.

What they need to do is stock for the market or area they're in. Heavy in local history and activities. Heavy on local or regional authors. Basically, know what your customer wants and stock for it, not what the home office in Dallas (or wherever) thinks you should carry.
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Miketoronto
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 825
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 6:54 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They also can't support such large stores everywhere.
The size of most huge Borders stores are to large for the suburbs. Stores that size you would only find in downtown years ago. Not in every single suburban mall and power centre.

They just expand way to much and try to operate way to large stores in areas with not enough population density.

All the chains that don't have dozens of stores, and focus on just a couple stores seem to be doing just fine.

I always use an example of a local department store in London, Ontario.
While all the chain department stores are in trouble, etc, from years of expansion and not moving up with the times. Kingsmills a family run department store that has only one location which is in downtown London, is going strong after 150 years in business. They just expanded their ONE store a couple years ago, and are fine.

Borders probably would have been fine if they had kept with their Ann Arbor store, and maybe two or three in Metro Detroit.

-Ann Arbor State Street
-Detroit Woodward Ave
-Royal Oak
-Sommerset

Thats all that is needed :-)
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Gibran
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Username: Gibran

Post Number: 2137
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 7:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

great..B and N are very limited in some of their sections...I find Borders broader in there Political and Historical sections...so much for the free market ...Darwian economics at it's best
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Alsodave
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Username: Alsodave

Post Number: 980
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 7:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The sad part is that they used to stock based on the needs/wants of the customer. I think that they tried to mimic Big & Nasty, and it didn't work. Overexpansion, especially with the Borders Outlet stores, was the beginning of the slow "end" for Borders.

Also, they were waaaaay behind on their virtual store. When I worked there, we had a guy from our store transfer to Ann Arbor to head up the Internet division. He turned out to be Borders' version of Magic Alex and was let go. The company never caught up with B&N, and had to enter into a partnership with Amazon.

Maybe there will be a serious restructure/reorganization with headquarters still in Ann Arbor, but with more of a regional focus.
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Detroitrise
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Username: Detroitrise

Post Number: 1811
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 7:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

UGH! SE Michigan is about to lose another national-local chain. :-(
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Onthe405
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Username: Onthe405

Post Number: 41
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 7:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I can't believe we're this far into the thread and no one has mentioned the blatantly obvious percentage of market share that has been taken away from retailers in books/music/movies due to online shopping.

Borders will meet the same fate as Tower, Harmony House, etc. Lots of people drink coffee and read the "free" books/magazines at Borders, but more & more people shop online where they can compare options for the lowest price and have the used book option.
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Detroitplanner
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Username: Detroitplanner

Post Number: 1579
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 9:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Borders had become very formula since breaking away from the brothers/Kmart who originally ran the place. You used to be able to go there and find all sorts of cool books on stuff like urban planning or USGS topographical maps. These were replaced with more white bread selections such as Rand McNally and stuff written by architects that have no idea what planning is about.

There stores are too big. Look at how much space they have devoted to non-core merchandise such as music, coffee, or gifts.
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Rel
Member
Username: Rel

Post Number: 512
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 10:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Miketoronto,

FYI- The Somerset store was a "Borders Express" and had tiny stock. They closed over a year ago. I wish they hadn't.

My fear is that Borders will get bought, and move their headquarters from MI :-(
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Jrvass
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Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 543
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 10:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Never went to Borders. Barnes & Noble a couple times, some defunct small scale retailers with a few stores (Metro Times?), used book stores like John King or the now-closed Abbey Books (owner died).

If I want a current book, CD or DVD, it's Amazon or a signed copy from Premier Collectibles or the author's/artist's website. My latest addition is a signed "Ernie Harwell Scrapbook" 4-CD set.
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Miketoronto
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Username: Miketoronto

Post Number: 827
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 10:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I heard downtown Detroit has a huge and famous used bookstore. Is that true?
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Smogboy
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Username: Smogboy

Post Number: 7361
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 11:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Personally I've always dug Borders more so than Barnes & Noble. Maybe it's the fact that I knew it was still locally owned but beyond that I've always thought their stores were more comfortable, they had a wider selection of books, and just a friendlier atmosphere.

The ultimate niche bookstores for me have always been the Little Professor down in Dearborn (which is no longer) and the venerable Book Beat in Oak Park.

Amazon and such have always been great on price but there's still something to be said for feeling the pages, seeing the text, and making that spontaneous buy of an odd quirky little book on the way towards the counter as well.
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Rel
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Username: Rel

Post Number: 515
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 11:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Miketoronto, that would be John King Books. Worth a trip!

http://johnkingbooks.com/
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Jrvass
Member
Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 545
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 11:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Now that I think about it the only thing I bought at B&N were gift certificates for either my Mom or sister. They liked them since they had stores close to them.
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Zephyrprocess
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Username: Zephyrprocess

Post Number: 602
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 12:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

<temporary_threadjack>

quote:

My latest addition is a signed "Ernie Harwell Scrapbook" 4-CD set.


Jrvass--did you have any difficulty getting that signed set? Last summer I had quite an adventure getting mine signed and delivered.

</temporary_threadjack>
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Jrvass
Member
Username: Jrvass

Post Number: 547
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 2:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, not really that I can recall. But I ordered 1 signed, and 3-4 unsigned copies all at the same time as x-mas gifts.

After my Dad died last month, Mom gave me the signed copy I gave him. I gave her my unsigned copy and said if she didn't want it, to give it to her oldest grandson and tell him that his Grandpa would like him to have it.

Maybe it was the time of year? Ernie is more mobile in the summer as opposed to early winter.
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Detroitman32
Member
Username: Detroitman32

Post Number: 20
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 6:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Not Borders! There's one in my town all the way here in NJ, it's great. I really hope this doesn't happen, there isn't another bookstore for miles.

I personally wish online shopping would die....
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The_rock
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Username: The_rock

Post Number: 2190
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2008 - 7:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well if they are sold, they have had quite a rise ( and fall?). Most of us from the U remember their little first store, by the State Theater on State Street. Really a neat little shop. Quite compact, but they had everything with friendly ,helpful students taking care of you. Classical music was heard as you walked in the front door.

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