Borders UK goes into administration

BBC News - Borders bookshops in the UK go into administration

Yet another big British retailer is on the verge of going bust. Borders was another victim, like Zavvi, of the Woolworth’s bankruptcy; they got their CDs and DVDs from Woolworth’s entertainment arm. However, there’s no denying that Borders could not compete with Amazon, and their stores have always been rather higgledy-piggledy, with books out of place and sometimes dog-eared from having been read in the in-store café. Of course, proper bookshops are acting as free showrooms for Amazon, particularly with expensive books. People go in, read the books, and buy them online. This is particularly true with technical books, like computer books, which often cost above £25, often for rather slim volumes.

One might have hoped that closing Oxford Street, and a few out-of-town shops, might have lessened their losses, but no. Of course, many of their shops are likely to be taken over by Waterstone’s, but I doubt the Borders in Kingston will be one of them as they already have a fairly big store in the Bentall’s centre. Borders took over Books Etc., and nearly all of them have since closed, and I have always felt that something in a town dies when a bookshop closes. The best thing about Borders in particular is that you can get American magazines which you can’t get in Smith’s. There are a few newsagents which stock them, but they are often staffed by people who aren’t very friendly (as with one I used to go to in Tottenham Court Road). It will be a huge shame if Borders Kingston shuts. It will also mean that Waterstones will have a virtual monopoly over high street book sales. (See earlier entry.)

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