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.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Borders news

So I'm listening to the year-end earnings and financing report from Borders.

They've paid off a big loan that was due April 1 and gotten a new round of financing thru 2014, so they can at least focus on managing the business a little bit more for a little while instead of managing the debt load. That is very good news.

They want to improve the in-store experience. Who doesn't! The average Borders store had 10%+ more inventory this past holiday season than the year before, and to me, that is the most important thing.

There are 33 million Borders Reward members, and they want to leverage them more. They want to personalize it more and get it away from a discount-of-the-week mentality.

Because nobody shops at Borders.com, this is a significant area of potential growth, and they are going to hire an Executive Vice President level person to run Borders.com.

They have high hopes for the Kobo.com e-book web site they are partnering on. They also plan to sell as many as 10 different e-readers at their largest volume stores in order to be a neutral source instead of forcing everyone to drink the Nook or Kindle Kool-Aid. This may be a very good idea. This is the part of the call that I'm finding to be the most intriguing.

They also want to maximize community education and social media. Buzzwords, you ask me.

Nothing very juicy, but the big news is really that there isn't a loan expiration hanging overhead as the company's had to deal with for the past two years or so, and this should help.

2 comments:

David Alastair Hayden said...

Don't have Borders here, but if someone could get Books-a-Million to improve their in-store experience, that would be fantastic.

The Borders stores I've been in were better than BAMM but worse than B&N.

Kyle White said...

Good news. Personally, I like the atmosphere in both Borders and Books-A-Million. While neither has the selection of their bigger rival, nor do they have the "we're-a-virtual-brick-and-mortar-monopoly-so-kiss-off" attitude that exudes from B&N like a foul stench (you can tell I don't care much for them).