Administrators for the troubled book store chains Borders and Angus & Robertson announce that the stores may have to close if buyers are not found. The announcement says “if” but reading between the lines, it sounds like there is a high likelihood of closure.
This is unfortunate – as a regular reader Borders has always been a favorite of mine ever since I first set foot in the enormous store in Portland, Oregon, but the writing is on the wall (or iPad) for the industry, as even I read more e-books than paper books these days, and Amazon announced that sales of e-books have overtaken traditional paper books of all kinds, a massive industry change.
This is bad news for the retail industry in general, already suffering under the weight of tight margins and increasing vacancies, with the prospect of bookstores, as a class, disappearing from shopping centers, in the same way that music stores disappeared a decade ago.
Combined with criticism from “Choice” over high sales margins, the retail industry can’t win a trick at the moment. It will be interesting to see how this years’ 30 June valuations of shopping centers pan out, though this year I’d particularly like to read the fine print in the valuations.