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Why Borders Failed

Former Borders merchandising strategy & analytics director Mark Evans has listed six reasons why Borders went bankrupt in the Q&A social network Quora.

GalleyCat has more: “The thoughtful essay notes that “the answer is not a simple one” and explores a variety of different problems, ranging from Internet strategy to real estate to branding. Read more about Evans’ experience at his Linkedin page.”

A poor Internet strategy lend to a poor eBook business, according to Evans. He wrote: “Failure to adequately address the internet sales channel and the subsequent ebook market. Specifically, the decision to outsource Borders.com to Amazon.com. To be fair, Borders.com was costing the company millions of dollars in losses each year ($20m I think when they decided to outsource) and one could argue that the outsourcing solution was a case of letting the most efficient etailing organization (Amazon.com) handle the job and turn a big negative into a profitable business. In the short-term, this saved a lot of money. In the long run, the internet is too important to outsource in this manner and Borders’ branding, multi-channel strategy, and customer base suffered. They also dropped the ball on ebooks, but by the time this became an issue they were just trying to figure out how to keep the whole house from burning down around them, so I find it more understandable.”

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