Borders at the Edge
A couple of weeks ago I posted about the difficulties Borders was having staying solvent in the rapidly-changing book retailing environment. I made the point that the company seemed to be preoccupied more with restructuring its balance sheet than it was with reformulating its strategy.
Iâ€™m sorry to say things are getting worse for Borders, and now publishersâ€”which are being asked to extend special terms to the struggling chainâ€”are scratching their heads about the same thing. One publisher said it wouldnâ€™t accept an I-O-U from Borders because, â€œIn order to accept the note, you have to believe that their strategy will work, but their strategy is to continue doing what theyâ€™ve been doing.â€ Another complained, â€œThey havenâ€™t shared a plan that makes their long-term future look more sustainable than of late.â€
Having been unable to figure out a relevant consumer proposition, Borders is now losing the confidence of its suppliers. Thatâ€™s the last thing the struggling retailer can afford.
Steve McKee is a BusinessWeek.com columnist, marketing consultant, and author of “When Growth Stalls: How it Happens, Why You’re Stuck, and What To Do About It.” Learn more about him at www.WhenGrowthStalls.com and at https://twitter.com/stevemckee.
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