Yesterday, at Tools of Change... the Indie bookseller panel was asked about what will happen when Borders goes bankrupt or closes some if not all of their stores.
Their answer was, it will leave a hole, and a smart bookseller can help fill it, through doing what those indie booksellers already do: building communities locally and online, and offering something unique that’s more than just selling books.
Borders introduced its own rewards program in 2006, but it was initially free, unlike Barnes & Noble’s paid program. Big coupons distributed through the Borders Rewards system didn’t generate new foot traffic. “Customers that were normally coming in and buying things started coming in with 30 and 40 and 50 percent coupons, and at that point I thought they killed off their core business,” said Dykhouse, a former manager at Borders’ Arborland store.
If only Borders's main business were gift cards! In an eye-opening aside, Borders noted that as of January 29, the amount outstanding on gift cards was $275,045,213. Based on past redemption rates, the company expects only $113,141,505 of that amount to be used, meaning that it would pocket $161.9 million, almost 60% of the total outstanding.
…it's just a contest between two product fulfillment centers.
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