Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Barnes & Borders?

A couple of months back, there was the news that Borders was considering selling itself. (Specifically it hired JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch to investigate options, including divestiture or acquisition). I didn't pay it much mind at the time.

Now it looks like Barnes & Noble is considering buying Borders.

Now as a book buyer, this is horrible. A lot of Borders (and B&Ns) would close as B&N would remove stores that cannibalize sales of the combined entity. B&N and Borders currently don't have identical stock--which is good. It means a browser like me can sometimes find something at one store that the other doesn't have. (If I don't get it first at Kaboom or Domy or Brazos Bookstore.) Combining them would inevitably mean less choice. And Borders is simply the better of the two stores in terms of bookselling, if not in running a business. So we could see a decline there too.

If I was still selling books, though, I wouldn't miss those trips to Ann Arbor and Border's charmless headquarters. It can't compare with B&N's location--right off of Union Square in New York.

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