Stephen Foley: Bookshops face bonfire
Saturday 19 December 2009
US Outlook: Long queues at the checkout in a Borders store in Manhattan last weekend, but instead of being a good sign for the ailing bookseller, I watched a business model crumbling in front of my eyes.
Almost like dominoes, shoppers in front of me pulled out their iPhones, checked Amazon.com for the books they had in their hand, put them back on the nearest shelf and then walked out the door. So I did the same. Amazon is shipping wrapped presents to my loved ones, as you read this.
As for me, I joined the e-reader revolution last month, and it's exhilarating. I read a review, wanted a book, went to Amazon and with one click – one single click – it was downloading on my Kindle back at home.
Like the UK Borders business, which was owned separately by a European private equity group before collapsing into administration last month, the original US business is buckling under these new realities. Loaded up with $375m in debt and with sales slumping at double-digit percentage rates, the company is struggling to avoid a similar fate.
Online competition is hardly a new trend, but it is accelerating. Last week was the heaviest online spending week on record, at $4.74bn of sales, according to comScore. Now the e-reader has the potential to relegate bookshops to the status of a shop window for an online retailer. A bonfire of bookstores is about to begin.
Simon Calder looks at communities fighting back against the poachers
Guide dog mauled while helping owner deliver Christmas cards
Nelson Mandela’s complex bond with Britain
The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
Deadly ice storm pushes up US east coast as temperatures drop to -29C
10 stone five-year-old taken into care
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 Council bans use of word ‘Commie’ – but ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ are fine
- 3 The man who made Femen: New film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and its breast-baring stunts
- 4 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 5 Mass murder in the Middle East is funded by our friends the Saudis
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: Technical Ap...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus: Excellent, opportunities exist for high calibr...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus: Key purpose of the role will be to act as Fixe...
£42000 - £46500 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Big 4 Opportunity...