Future shock for Britannica oveyr 2
Thursday 06 April 1995
The world's oldest continually published encyclopaedia in the English language has been given another reminder that the era of using hard-pitching door-to-door salesmen to sell their tomes is well and truly over. It needs new investors to help it compete in cyberspace, or it may be forced to sell.
"We need capital and are confident we can secure it," the Chicago-based company said in a brief statement. "Technology and the information age have radically transformed our landscape, and will require our company to make a significant transition from our historical past."
For two centuries the beautifully-bound 32-volume publication has provided the definitive answers for crossword enthusiasts, students and academics around the globe, and been a status symbol on the shelves of wannabe intellectuals.
But sales have been hit by competition from electronic editions of encyclopaedias - for example, Groliers and Comptons - which often come free as CD-ROMS with the purchase of new computers.
"How do you sell somebody an encyclopedia that costs thousands of dollars when they are getting one for $100 or for free in the box with their new computers?" asked Kenneth Kister, the Florida-based publisher of Kister's Concise Guide to Best Encyclopaedias.
The company, which is owned by the William Benton Foundation, a privately held charitable trust, says it is looking for additional capital, either through joint venture partners or outside investors. It may even seek a new owner, it says.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...
$125 - $225 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: San Fran - Investment Advi...
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...