Robot 6

Could foundering Borders be transformed into next Apple Store?

Apple Store Fifth Avenue, New York City

One of the two private-equity firms negotiating to buy the bankrupt Borders Group reportedly hopes to save more than half of the remaining stores by taking a page from Steve Jobs’ playbook.

In a profile of rival moguls Jahm Najafi and Alec Gores, The Wall Street Journal contends a plan by the Los Angeles-based Gores Group would save about 250 of the 416 Borders outlets — most of them superstores — by transforming them into “more appealing destinations” similar to the Apple Store chain.

According to the newspaper, the 58-year-old Gores is in talks with more than a dozen companies, including Hewlett-Packard, to showcase their products in the revamped Borders stores. In exchange, Borders would offer discounts to customers downloading books from Hewlett-Packard’s e-readers in the stores. Gores, who would pay somewhere around $250 million for the bookseller’s outlets and other assets, including the website and customer list, would also “emphasize developing a more robust online business for Borders.”

Borders, the second-largest book chain in the United States, is expected to announce a bidder by July 1.



You almost wonder if comics (both print and digital/motion) might be involved with this proposal. If so, having a few more major purchasing locations could be good for the business.

One other thing… this might be means for some of the smaller publishers to build their readership (especially if the different stores coordinate and host nationwide events such as Skypecasts).

Glenn Simpson

June 21, 2011 at 9:15 am

In other news, I find it amusing that the Converse ads show a hand drawing the character that goes on the shoe, since I know all of that artwork was done back in the 1980s.

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