About Me

A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2009 Post-mortems, the second

Borders reported its holiday sales results and saw another large decrease in same store sales, around 10% excluding the large drop in media sales (the music/DVD footage was slashed at most stores from a year ag0), around twice the size of the same store sales drop at Barnes & Noble. The drop was similar at the Waldenbooks stores that are remaining open moving into 2010.

Some of this is self-inflicted. I noticed over the course of the holiday season that I was getting fewer coupons as a Borders Rewards member, for smaller discounts. This meant that the gross margin on sales increased by 130 basis points (i.e., 1.3%), which means that the sales were more profitable. Fewer people dashing in just to redeem a big 40% off coupon and not much else. But it would have been nice to have seen a nicer hold in sales than we did.


Emma Michaels said...

great post. I agree that other years I found these amazing coupons and discounts and last Christmas I hardly found anything that really made me was to take the extra time to go to Borders or Barnes&Noble instead of my local bookstore. Thanks for posting your thoughts!!!!


Myke said...

I don't think that's the problem. I remember reading somewhere that the problem is that there isn't as much of a markup on ebooks, and this Christmas was the first season where ebooks outsold printed matter. Also, I'm fearing epiracy is beginning to make a serious dent. We have a generation of people who are growing up never having paid for music. With the advances in ereader tech, we'll soon have a generation that has never paid for books and won't understand why anyone ever would.