On the question and answer network Quora, former Borders merchandising strategy & analytics director Mark Evans listed six reasons why the bookselling chain struggled and ultimately declared bankruptcy.
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.
Here is an excerpt from the essay: “Over-investment in music – while this was a big plus for this in the early to mid 90’s, this was a disaster in the long run. This is basically why the stores were too big once the music business cratered. So, stores were sized and modeled to provide a large music CD business which largely disappeared. In addition, infrastructure was sized to support this, including a dedicated warehouse distribution facility. This last part has been addressed over time, but soaked up money, time, and energy. Note that music was also part of what made Borders a destination for many customers, so when music sales tanked, other product categories’ sales suffered as well.”