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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.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

news of the day

Borders announced it's earnings, or more exactly the size of its loss for the most recent quarter. Same store sales dropped 7%, not good, but not as steep as other recent reports, but would have been worse if not for an uptick in cafe sales.  Web site sales increased by big percentage but from small base.  They are closing a store in San Francisco near the Giants' ballpark, and are happy to have around a half dozen other leases for underperforming stores like this, DC store I blogged about a couple weeks ago etc. I haven't visited this SF store, may try on my layover heading back from WorldCon. And good or bad, Borders will open Build a Bear workshops in some of their stores. There is now also a two-tier Borders Rewards program, a paid program like the Barnes & Noble program which will offer more discounts, free shipping etc.  while also continuing the current free program.

In other store closing news, Barnes & Noble is closing its large flagship store opposite Lincoln Center on Manhattan's Upper West Side.  The store's original fifteen year lease is expiring, and rumors are the asking rent was at least doubling and maybe tripling. This is the 4th Manhattan BN to close in the face of larger rent in recent years.

On the eReader front, Samsung is introducing a reader into the UK market that will be sold via WH Smiths, which runs many travel stores that tend to be small and some much larger stores on malls and main streets, or "high street" in the local parlance.   Amazon is supposedly making an arrangement with Staples to start selling the Kindle.     

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