Funny and Sad: Men like Tablets, and Borders is Closing

From Kim comes this Center for Media Research report on research into adult owners of eReaders and tablets.

Key line that cracked me up:

The report suggests that men’s affinity for Tablets may be a reflection of the way they view ownership of technological gadgets with respect to their peers.  For instance, men are much more likely than women to report: “I want others to say ‘Wow!’ when they see my electronics.”

No wonder people were doubtful as to the success of a smaller tablet when there’s already 10” out there.


I put the funny stuff first to try to cushion the bad news, which, while painful from a personnel standpoint, is not unexpected:

PaidContent is reporting that Borders is closing its remaining 399 stores and 11,000 employees will be laid off. No date is given for the closure, though the article states, quoting the Borders official statement through the Wall Street Journal, that “liquidation is expected to commence for some stores and facilities as soon as Friday, July 22, with a phased rollout of the program which is expected to conclude by the end of September.”

I’m sorry for Borders employees who are now having among the worst Mondays ever, and I hope you can all locate jobs with exceptional security and benefits that include free ice cream, lifetime massages and anything else you desire.

 

Categorized:

General Bitching...

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  1. 1

    I used to work at one of the few profitable Borders stores in Boston.  I dropped by yesterday, and it was truly grim.  Everyone had seen the writing on the wall and was just waiting. 

    Now, I’m sorry for my friends and I’m sorry for the communities that are losing their only bookstores.  But Borders brought this shit on themselves.

  2. 2
    Susan says:

    I also want to express my sympathy for all the former Borders employees. I’ve been unemployed 7 months, and it’s rough.  My best advice is, NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK,  and approach hiring managers directly. 

    Depending on where you are, and your personal situation, you may want to consider relocation.

  3. 3
    Barbara says:

    Re: the funny news – did anyone else read ‘with respect to their peers’ as ‘with respect to their penis’?

    Just me, then.

  4. 4
    Chelsea says:

    Our city is mourning Borders, as it was easily the most well stocked bookstore in the area. Ironically we are getting a Books-a-Million now, where Borders used to be, but I’ve never been to one so don’t know what to expect.

  5. 5
    Jennifer Murdock says:

    I feel terrible for all the employees and wish them well. My local borders will be greatly missed.

  6. 6
    Alina says:

    Borders’ closure is rippling into Canadian book business (from the Quill & Quire article here: http://www.quillandquire.com/blog/index.php/2011/07/18/borders-gives-up-the-fight/):

    UPDATE: In the face of Borders’ liquidation announcement, the Canadian e-book company Kobo has voiced objections to the procedure, according to Bloomberg. Creditors filed official objections in bankruptcy court in Manhattan on Monday.

    From Bloomberg:

      “The debtors are proposing a hurried and confusing sale process that leaves parties such as Kobo uninformed as to precisely what will be sold or how the debtors intend to proceed,” lawyers for Kobo wrote.

      Kobo, a Toronto-based maker of electronic books, said it should have the right of first refusal for any transfer of Borders’ 11 percent stake in its equity, and Borders shouldn’t be allowed to sell information that Kobo has licensed to Borders.

  7. 7
    ev says:

    Having worked for Border’s for many years, I am sorry to see this happening. But many of us saw the writing on the wall long ago and got out when we had the opportunity. I think there is only one person left at my old store from our original crew- and she has been with the company many years. So much for her retirement. It blows.

    I hope that those companies such as books-a-million who move in, give the former employees first consideration for jobs. They know the area, they know their customers. Don’t let great experience take a permanent hike. I would be more likely to shop there knowing that they did that then to hire all brand new people with little or no experience or knowledge.

  8. 8
    Avery Flynn says:

    I am so bummed about this on so many levels. I want to go hug all of the Borders employees who take the time to help me find books, answer my dumb questions, share the latest book they read, chat about that one book I’m buying that they just loved and especially the man who always seems to be working in the children’s book section and has helped me find the perfect books for birthday gifts and just-because surprises more times than I can count. Seriously, they deserve better than to be screwed over by a company that couldn’t get it’s corporate head out of its ass.

  9. 9
    Cakes says:

    I’m a former Border’s manager from 10+ years ago. I loved working there, but don’t think I could have put up with corporate vibe that came along after I was gone. Here’s hoping for all my friends and the other employees, that they get a fair shake.

  10. 10
    library addict says:

    I’m sorry about Borders, too.  Not to mention from a purly shelfish standpoint I have about 10 books on pre-order there through January.

    Borders will be greatly missed.  I was sad when the b&m store here closed, but have continued to use them on-line.  Guess I will join the folks who order paper books at Amazon.  The B&N store here is so unfriendly to romance that I refuse to shop there.

  11. 11
    Mama Nice says:

    Exactly Barbara. My first thought was “What else do they hope gets that reaction?”

    On to the sad and serious – I was lucky to have a few of the still open Borders near me – so this hits hard – my daughters and I spent many happy hours book shopping there. Hope somebody comes up with a business concept for bookstores that works and can thrive in this changing climate. I’d be happy to sign up for marketing/research and let that somebody know what would work for me!

  12. 12

    I hate it that Borders is closing. Whenever I go to the US I spend hours in there. This time last year I visited Hyannis in Cape Cod and walked about a mile up a dirty roadside (someone else had the car) to visit the Borders store. (Washed my feet when I got back to the hotel, you’ll be pleased to hear.)

  13. 13
    Mireya says:

    The only large bookstore in Puerto Rico was Borders.  My sister was there yesterday, and they had put up a sign saying that it would not be opening today.  It’s truly sad, there really aren’t a lot of bookstores in Puerto Rico and this Borders was the only large bookstore and it was in a convenient location (Plaza Las Americas).  My sisters and their kids were saddened, they have pretty much zero choices now.

  14. 14
    ev says:

    @Mireya- Years ago on one of my trips there, I stopped into that Borders, and got to use my employee discount. They had a very nice store there!

  15. 15
    Mina C. Lobo says:

    I am so, so heartbroken about Borders. Growing up 1st generation American with a mom who took “overprotective” to a whole new level, one of the few pleasures she’d let me enjoy as a teen was hanging in the local Borders while she shopped at the nearby Lord & Taylor. So many wonderful memories of books sought and books bought. So many dollars spent there still! If any Deus ex machina workers are reading, a wave of your magic wand (or mighty wang, I’m not picky) would be welcome.  :’-(

  16. 16
    quichepup says:

    redheadedgirl is right;poor management killed Borders. A revolving door of CEOs, none of whom understood that books were different from other consumer goods, were responsible for the slow downfall of the company. Ironically all the articles I’ve seen so far place the blame on e-readers and Amazon. They didn’t kill Borders but they did help.

    I’m sorry to see them go under, there’s one lone Borders left nearby and I want to go one last time, before liquidation sets it and all heck breaks loose. If you can, go visit your local Borders store and let the staff know how much they meant to you. And buy something too.

  17. 17

    E-readers and Amazon?  Sure, if those people blaming those factors completely discount the fact that Borders COMPLETELY refused to adapt to the new world of bookselling.  Borders didn’t even start selling books through borders.com until what, like 3 years ago?  And they hoped the e-reader fad would go away, until they tried to muscle into the market. 

    (Borders employees were never “Trained” on ereaders.  we were given a sheet of paper with a grid of the differences and told the “play with the Kobo” on our breaks.  Yeah.)

    The biggest problem Borders had was in how they treated their employees- the last three years was nothing but demoralizing bullshit after demoralizing bullshit.

  18. 18

    I think this will skew the whole bound book publishing industry, an industry that is already trembling in its boots.

    I would love to hear everyone ring in on that.

    (What is with me and the mixed metaphors?)

  19. 19
    Isabel C. says:

    Oof, I’m sorry to hear it.

    The Ferrett (theferrett.livejournal.com), who used to work at Borders, has put up a collection of essays about his time there and how he thinks management went wrong. Interesting stuff.

  20. 20
    Donna says:

    You’ve taken the sparkle right out of my day. And since B&N, the only other choice around here for new books, gives no coupons & has a CRAPPY rewards (how is it a reward, if you have to PAY them to get a discount?) program this is seriously going to curtail my purchasing. Where’s my damn Bailey’s?

  21. 21
    James Lynch says:

    I think this is a shame.  When I lived in Long Island, NY I was fortunate enough to have a Borders within walking distance of my retail job; going there and browsing on a lunch break was a lot of fun!  It was also where I discovered the Black Lace line of romantic erotica (still my favorite), picked up fnord knows how many books (including lots of art and photography collections), and had a terrific time looking about.

    Now that I’m in NC the big store is Books-A-Million, and while it has some solid collections, it’s all on one level and nowhere near the experience you’d get at Borders.  Sad to say, I think the future of book browsing will be online instead of the brick-and-mortar bookstores.

  22. 22
    Ken Houghton says:

    I was going to do a tablet-size joke, but I think I’ll just refer everyone to Lance on Borders and save Aerosmith-cover-references and some-of-us-still-use-a-Droid-but-we-use-it-well jokes for someone else.  (Is John DeChancie around?)

  23. 23
    Kelly C. says:

    I too am devastated by the demise of Borders.  My Borders was romance friendly and although it was a very small store, it had a huge romance section.  All the employees there know me.  Probably not by name per se but definitely by sight.  I have dealt with the same people for many years and in my neck of the woods, jobs are far more scarce than just about anywhere else in the country.  :(  The only other bookstores within my immediate are are a very small independent chain thats romance section sucks, IMO.  And a couple of UBS.

    spam-a-lot word : feel94   I wish it could/would feel like 1994 ;-)

  24. 24
    Heather says:

    We never had a Boarders hee, but when I was in college I used to love to drive up to Charlotte to go to theirs.  I always had a good experience.  I am lucky that there is a BAM and a B&N very close to me.  Neither of them are that great on romance.  However the staff is friendly they will order anything for me’  The staff at the B&N have always been friendly and helpful to me.  I have a fav USB and a fav independent at the beach.  I really feel bad for the staff.  Hopefully the new stores moving in will offer them jobs.  It would be a smart move because it would keep the customers coming back.  I like when I go to the bookstore in the morning before work I always see the same lady at the check out counter and she is always kind and helpful.

  25. 25

    To be fair to B&N, the one I used near my brother’s place in Stamford, CT, had a good romance section. I picked up all the Linda Howard and Suzanne Brockmann missing from my collection.

  26. 26
    Cait says:

    I am sorry to see Borders go under.  It is the only book store in our area.  And tho I don’t shop there all the time, I buy all my Christmas and Birthday gift books there.  Where to go???
      Plus, why is Barnes and Noble not closing their doors as well.  How are they different?  Occasionally I will pop into the one where my kids live(125 miles away) and I can’t see it.
        Cait

  27. 27
    shoe says:

    I was there when the first Borders opened in Ann Arbor.  It was like Christmas Day.  I find shopping boring these days but am still spending hours in Borders. It is an experience not just a place to buy something, although lord knows I spent plenty there.

    Living in Michigan I can liken the problem to the auto industry, you have to have car guys in charge not finance guys.  You have to care about what you do and your name.  When Borders was sold the first time it started the downslide.  As Bill Ford said,
    its my family name in the blue logo.

    Writers: now that I cannot browse your books at the store, post samples of your writing on your site so I can give you a chance.
    Barnes and Noble is far inferior.  Bless you all Border’s employees and good luck.

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