Borders gets new chief executive

Borders gets new chief executive.

Borders hopes new chief can improve its story

Borders, the struggling US bookstore chain, has brought in a new chief executive to head its turnround efforts, after a dismal holiday season that saw comparable sales at its superstores fall 14.4 per cent.

The decline was driven by an 11 per cent fall in book sales, underlining the exposure of the entire book publishing industry to the current slump in consumer spending.

Ron Marshall, a veteran retail executive, is to take over as chief executive from George Jones, who had headed the company for the past 2½ years.

Mr Marshall, 54, has headed his own private equity fund for the past three years, but previously spent eight years as chief executive of Nash Finch, the food distribution company, where he oversaw a financial turnround.

His early career included working for Barnes & Noble, Borders’ larger rival, and for Crown Books, as well as chief financial officer of Pathmark, a regional supermarket chain, in the 1990s.

Larry Pollock, Borders’ chairman, said Mr Marshall would be involved in “more aggressively” spearheading cost-cutting and operational improvements aimed at securing the company’s long-term future. (Source: FT)

Borders no longer wants to sell itself

I love Borders. Love to be able to walk in and browse through. I have to admit that 90% of the time I come out empty handed or perhaps just with the Borders card member brochure.

I’m sorry that you aren’t doing well Borders. It’s all my fault.

Borders Inc ‘no longer for sale’

It posted a net quarterly loss of $175.4m (£113m), or $2.90 per share, as against $161.1m, or $2.74 per share, in the third quarter of last year.

But it said applying a range of restructuring measures in the past year will allow the company to stand on its own despite the downturn.

“We have smiles on our faces”, Borders chief executive George Jones said.

Like-for-like sales dropped 12.8% in Borders superstores, with revenue falling to $693m from $765m during the same quarter last year.

The news sent Borders share down 52% in after-hours trading.

In March, Borders said it had been evaluating a sale of its core business after facing increasing difficulties in accessing funds. (Source: BBC)

Books aren’t doing well these days probably because lesser people are reading these days. I used to see more people reading in trains. Singaporeans are rather busy people, few have the chance to read at home for leisure. Most read during commute time. It’s not easy to read while standing. Those sitting on chairs either have their ears plugged with earphones (blissfully unaware that they suppose to alight the previous stop sometimes) or sleeping (or perhaps pretending to sleep when there’re older folks in front of them).


Anyway, it’s just not good news for book lovers. Are physical stores impractical these days? Is the future going to be electronic books? I still much prefer touching paper. I’ll hate to see physical bookstores become a luxury of yesterday.