Posts Tagged ‘magazines’

Some Thoughts on Borders

Posted: February 15, 2011 in Braak
Tags: , ,

Borders, you may have heard, is going to be filing for bankruptcy.  They will divest themselves of 200 stores at first (at first), out of their 640-some.  I have said that I think this is a strategy meant to allow them to easily shed the worst of their liabilities, and to make the remaining infrastructure more appealing for a buyout.  I generally stand by this decision; intuitively, I feel little certainty that anyone in the company is trying to save access to books; though I can hardly fault anyone on a sinking ship for looking for a life preserver before they consider the loss of their boat’s impact on the sugar industry.

What I find interesting about this is that Borders employees have been predicting a collapse like this for years.


I used to work at a Borders, and the wrath I experienced at that time — at the blithering corporate idiocy that was slowly running their company into the ground — is the stuff of legends.  None of the mind-numbingly stupid things I had to do (alphabetizing dictionaries, switching all of the inventory on one bookshelf to another three times in two days) compared to the soul-killing hours I spent in charge of the magazines.

People talk about why magazines aren’t doing so well, and they’re definitely right that the internet is part of why all the magazines are folding.  But there are a couple other reasons.