Friday, February 18, 2011

Shifting Consumer Patterns

The paradigm (pattern, model, exemplar) of a book store is changing, of course. Now most experiences occur online with targeted searches and convenient delivery. Like the movie rental business, the consumer is now delighted by the display on the video screen rather than in a bricks and mortar store.

The bankruptcy protection of Borders, the second largest bookstore chain in the U.S., is an indication of this shift. They are liquidating 200 stores or 30% of them to raise money to bring $175 million to creditors.

"Borders, whose market value shrank by more than $3 billion since 1998, racked up losses by failing to adapt to shifts in how consumers shop.

Its first e-commerce site debuted in 2008, more than a decade after revolutionized publishing with online sales. The world's largest online retailer beat it again by moving into digital books with the Kindle e-reader in 2007, a market Borders entered in July."

It's interesting to peruse the websites of the largest retailer Barnes and Noble, Borders, and the Canadian site, Chapters,indigo.

Let's hope the bricks and mortar stores don't disappear altogether. Maybe it's time for the return of the small, independent book store?