Entries in end of an era (1)

Friday
Jul222011

The Era of Big Chain Bookstores is Passing

Today, Borders Group, the direct competitor of Barnes & Noble, is beginning liquidation of its 399 stores, and “everything must go,” folks. And that means $700 million of the company's inventory, which includes books, stationery, CDs, and DVD movies. Even the furnishings and equipment, right down to the shelving will also be sold off. Yikes!

According to one paper, “A liquidation company that is part of the process said late Thursday that the sales will be held starting Friday at all 259 Borders superstores, 114 Borders Express and Waldenbooks, and 26 Borders airport stores.”

A distant rival, Books-A-Million, is said to be bidding for “leases and assets of 30 Borders stores.”

With this latest news, it is official: we are nearing the end of the era of big chain bookstores as we know it. Sad for some, awesome for others. There is a major shift going on in the book world today, and that shift is caused primarily by the upward momentum of the eBook market, which is currently being propelled by online giant Amazon.com. In the decades to come, we won’t be able to walk a mere four or five blocks in a major city and pop into a big chain bookstore to browse the shelves and sit down over a steaming cup of java as we peruse a choice print book or two. Those days will be long gone. Instead, look to see a slew of people sitting in actual coffee shops with various eReaders in hand, clicking through digital books that didn’t cost us a forest. (You’ll see a few of ‘em now in fact.)

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