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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Other Shoe Drops







Now comes the rest of the story on the two big U.S. bookstore chains - and it looks like Borders Group continues to have much bigger problems than Barnes and Noble. According to the Bloomberg people:




Borders has fired 20 percent of its corporate workforce and reduced inventory while it seeks ways to win sales from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

The bookseller posted a third-quarter net loss of $175.4 million, or $2.90 a share, wider than the $161.1 million, or $2.74, deficit a year earlier, as consumers cut back on purchases of books and magazines.

Revenue for the three months through Nov. 1 fell to $693.4 million from $765.2 million, the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company said. Sales at older stores dropped 12.8 percent, while debt was reduced by 34 percent to $525.4 million, Borders said.
I'm a bit surprised that Borders management is trying to steal sales from Wal-Mart and Amazon.com rather than from Barnes and Noble. I suppose that, in one sense, that's logical since it will be easier to focus on the differences between Borders and those companies; Barnes and Noble is simply too much like Borders in presentation and services for the two to really gain much of a competitive advantage on the other that way.

This is not good news for book lovers, that's for sure.
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