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Damien's Blog

Can Borders Books Survive in this Economy Without Drastic Change?

By Damien Patton, (2257 words) Posted in Corporate on August 25, 2009
There are (71) comments permalink

The uphill battle that mega book retail Borders Books faces.

When you think of buying a book or magazine, what comes to mind first: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, or a local bookstore? For companies like Borders Books, they are hoping that you are thinking of their website or brick and mortar store as opposed to their competition.

This year Borders Books brought in new CEO, Ron Marshall, to help turn the company around from the brink of bankruptcy to a viable player in the bookstore market. Were the actions of hiring Ron Marshall and replacing other top positions at Borders, too little, too late? You decide.

Over the last month I have had the opportunity to visit over 15 Borders Book locations across the country, from Boston to New York City, Seattle to Las Vegas. Although these stores each had different employees, and were located in different sub–cultures of our society, they all had one thing in common; a Borders Book culture lacking customer service and customer friendly tools. Clearly the changes the new leadership has been making since January of this year are taking a long time to trickle down to the stores.

The stores I visited were not out of the way locations; for the most part they were their key locations in large cities. One might expect that large metropolitan flag ship locations would show signs of company culture change first; not in the case of Borders.

You might ask why I took such an interest in going to Borders and examining their stores and business culture. Several months ago while attending classes at MIT in Cambridge, MA, I had the fortunate opportunity to meet Borders new CEO, Ron Marshall. Having been a long time Borders shopper, I decided to closely examine the major challenges Borders faced in the marketplace, especially against competitors such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

As a business consultant and a consumer, the following are some of the major items that Borders needs to change if they are going to have any chance of a resurgence.

  1. Borders employees are difficult to identify. In most of the Borders stores I visited, the first thing I noticed was the lack of employees around to assist customers. If they were around, they did a good job blending in. The only store where someone greeted me when I walked in and asked if I needed assistance was the Boylston Street store in Boston the day after new CEO Ron Marshall had been in town. Two weeks later, the store seemed to be back to their normal culture of "evading" the consumer. One simple point to change that would give consumers the feeling of better customer service would be to have Borders employees to wear clothing that indentifies them as employees. Think of Best Buy with their associates in blue. No matter how busy Best Buy may be, you always can identify an associate in quick glance by the clothing they are wearing.
  2. Self–serve computers are not so helpful. Perhaps Borders believes that customers can help themselves because they offer self-serve computer terminals to find books. This is a point that sets them apart from companies like Barnes and Noble. Barnes forces the consumer to ask an employee to help locate a book. I prefer the Borders method of having the option. Unfortunately, computers can't always take the place of people and when a customer needs assistance, the help desks are improperly staffed. In addition, the computer system is in need of an upgrade. One of the missing features that I have heard numerous shoppers complain about is the search feature. When you search for a type of book in a Borders store, you get results, and sometimes in the hundreds. Most of these books are not in store and have to be ordered. What if I don"t want to order and I want to see book titles that are "likely in store?" You would think there would be a filter option for this, but there is not and a consumer is forced to scroll through a slow system to find titles that are in store. The "likely in store" books should be highlighted so that they are easily identifiable. With the amount of consumer complaints that I have heard regarding this, I would think it would have been a customer service issue addressed long ago. On this subject, Borders Books should also audit themselves. Outside of major book titles and books in which they have dozens of copies, their system of "likely in store" is more likely to be wrong. The "likely in store" seems to be more of a crapshoot. In defense of Borders, the books may have been in the store, but perhaps had been moved by a customer or shelved in the wrong location. More on this subject later.
  3. Borders Internal Computer system is not user friendly. When it comes to computer systems, Borders is definitely in need of a makeover for in-store help. Speaking with several of their employees they were very open about the changes that had been made and how ineffective they were in expediting the consumers check out. One example is when using a corporate Borders reward card. Most customers don't carry their cards on them (probably because they have too much other stuff crammed in their wallets). Like most places (think of airlines), they can easily look up your customer number. Not Borders if you are a corporate client. Borders forces their employees to use a separate computer from the one they are checking the customer out on to look up the number. As a test I tried this out at over 10 different Borders this month, and only 2 of them knew how to look up a corporate number. At one of the Seattle stores, the employee verbally complained at what a pain it was to have to do it. It should be noted that she wasn't giving me an attitude; she was clearly just annoyed at how inefficient the tools were for her to help customers. I am not sure if Borders currently uses "secret shoppers" or unidentified corporate employees to show their stores, but clearly they are missing some key areas to improve customer service as well as improving the quality of the employee experience.
  4. Inconsistent Layout, unorganized shelves and cluttered stores. Have you noticed that each borders store appears to be laid out differently? Sure they have different architecture and store sizes, but surely there is a way to organize them in a manner that makes sense to repeat customers and employees that visit different locations. In addition, Borders appears to be adding lots of "non–book" items in a search for additional revenue. The stores have become cluttered and awkward. Some of the book shelves appear to have been neglected for some time. Perhaps they haven't been stocked in a while or just haven't been re-organized after shoppers have placed books back in areas they don't belong. The first thing that comes to mind here is the comparison between Kmart and Target. Target is clean, easy to navigate, and shelves are full and organized for the most part. Borders, how often are the store managers mandating that products be re–ordered, shelves be stocked and re–organized? More importantly if these things are being done, is anyone doing quality control and performing spot checks?
  5. Borders.com – Perhaps it was because they were late to the online party or maybe it is because the former culture at Borders still is being worked through, but clearly Borders is getting hurt online by companies like Amazon and even fellow brick and mortars like Barnes and Noble. In addition to being late to get their products online, their website lacks in usability and accessibility.
  6. Other Missed Opportunities – Borders missed out on getting the attention of college students when competitor Barnes and Noble struck a deal with many university systems as the campus's official book store. What type of out of the box thinking can Borders do to give them an advantage? I would be interested in hearing from readers and Borders shoppers on what ideas Borders Books may implement to make you more likely to shop with them, either in store or online. One area where that might be explored is partnering with a company like Apple to have a help center in the store along with all the appropriate books and magazines. Apple has their own stores around the countries, but they usually don't have places in suburbs and other areas where Borders Books are located. Perhaps Apple wouldn’t even consider it, but one thing is for sure, Borders needs to hear from book consumers that don’t currently shop with them and why.
  7. Don't leave anything at Borders! On two separate occasions, I found items customers had left behind while shopping at Borders. While in Redmond, WA, I found a pair of very expensive Maui Jim men's sunglasses someone had left while searching on the computer.Immediately I turned them into customer service and asked if they could use the overhead paging system to alert people in the store. After requesting the page 3 times, no one paged or alerted the customers in the store. The attitude was "if the customer wants their glasses they will come to the counter and ask." Two weeks later while in the Las Vegas store, I found a cell phone that was left in the bathroom. Thinking the experience in Washington was a fluke, I turned in the phone and once again asked them to make an announcement overhead. I'm sorry to say, there was no effort made to find the owner of the cell phone. I don't need to tell anyone who has lost a cell phone the panic that sets in once you realize it’s gone, not to mention the hassle of trying to retrieve and remember hundreds of names and contact information. It took Borders 30 minutes to make an announcement, this only after I asked to have to the cell phone back so I could start calling numbers on the phone in hopes of a message getting to the owner. It was clear they really didn't care about the phone or the sunglasses. Lack of training? Or is it in the manual that the whole "finders keepers" will apply for lost and found items. Two separate stores, two lost and found items, and two experiences that told me Borders employee culture lacks an appreciation for their customer. If ever there was an opportunity to win a customer for life, it would be making every effort to return lost items to their proper owner .
  8. No effort to help someone – Customer Service 101. Perhaps my most upsetting experience with Borders occurred when I was leaving Borders Books around closing time. As I was exiting the store, a man in an electric wheelchair powered by a straw blower was trying to enter. He was immediately turned away and was told the store was closing. He asked if he could just get a magazine and was told no. I had literally just paid for my books and knew there was no way the cash register was shut down and closed out for the evening. The magazine rack was right there at the entrance and it would have taken an extra minute to help the man select and pay for a magazine. I was shocked by not only the lack of customer service, but the complete disregard for a man who clearly struggles to move at the pace of those fortunate enough to be able to walk. I could not stand idle and I immediately started to discuss this with the manager, who in turn closed and locked the door. Of course this is not Borders Books, this is an employee making their own decision on behalf of Borders since they are in a leadership position. This example sums up the state of the corporate culture that is still rampant at Borders. Certainly we all can recognize that companies have rules and policies about closing the store each evening and perhaps the manager was just following the corporate guidelines, or maybe they just wanted to go home after a long day. I would think that a corporate culture that holds the customer as the number one priority would have bent the closing rules to help this individual.

I must disclose I have been a loyal Borders Book shopper for many years and gave corporate discount cards to all of our employees more than a year ago. I, like many Borders shoppers, don't want to see the book giant go out of business. With Amazon's Kindle (which I have and love) and the rumors of Apple's version later this year, Borders and other brick and mortars have to attract the consumer in other ways. Even though I buy most of my books online these days, I visit a brick and mortar book store at least once a week to look for new book titles to download to the Kindle. Inevitably, I end up walking out of the store with magazines and books that aren't offered on the Kindle. The ironic thing is, that without purchasing the Kindle, I wouldn't have been making such frequent trips to Borders and purchasing an average of $200 a month from them. Maybe they can attract other Kindle and digital books users into their store and turn this situation into a positive one. But the first thing Borders Books needs to do is put the focus back on their customers by offering them the tools they need both in the store and online and by showing the customer some true human interaction, appreciation and service. Surely Borders does not condone the poor customer service I have experienced and witnessed. Certainly CEO Ron Marshall and other new Borders Books top executives have a challenge ahead of them. These leaders took their new positions because they thrive on challenge and they obviously believe they can make a difference. The question that I have – is Border Books at a point in their company lifecycle where a turn around to be a leader in the industry is possible? Only time will if they can meet the challenge.

Icon: author blog About the Author:
Damien is the Founder and CEO of FindAnyFloor.com as well as several other technolgy businesses specializing in social media and search.
image: blog cloud comment

Comments (71)

Lisa Wells posted on: August 26, 2009

WOW! This was more like a short story then a blog post but it is really well done. I too shop at Borders Books and have had horrible customer experience. I dont go to Barnes because it is 25 minutes away and Borders is 2! But, more and more I just go to sites like Amazon since the book will be here the next day and I can order it while I am at work....just don't tell my boss.

Bookworm posted on: August 26, 2009

I use the Amazon Kindle for almost everything now except magazines where I want to see colored pictures. I prefer not to go to the bookstore anymore as it wasn't the greatest of experiences.

Lyt posted on: August 29, 2009

As someone who has worked in various bookstores (privately owned, independent and large corporate), this was pretty spot on. I've always found Borders to be the worst of all bookstore options.
I would disagree with your complaint in point 7, though. It would be an absolutely terrible idea for a store to page over the intercom a lost item. A) Most customers ignore the overhead pages (in my quite vast experience), and B) You're opening yourself up to someone falsely claiming the lost item. When customers lose something (and it happens quite frequently; you'd be hearing pages every 10 minutes), you really can't expect a store to track them down. Working in a small store, we make the effort of answering a lost cellphone when it rings, but other than that, there's really no practical way for a store to track customers down for non-emergency reasons.
Otherwise, spot on post.

Janet Ruiz posted on: August 31, 2009

I don't disagree with #7 as if I lost my cell phone I would be horrified. What if you were in 10 stores and didn't know where to start to look. As far as other people claiming lost items, stores can make them describe it. As I just said that I realize there is some liability to the stores if they give the item to the wrong person. What a dilemma.

Mary Lauren posted on: September 2, 2009

I think the writing was on the wall for Borders Books along time ago. If you go into their stores, you think that they already know they are dying a slow death. I still stop by once in a while but I find myself going back to smaller stores to help support them so that we have something when the big box book stores like Borders are gone.

Amazon Kindle posted on: September 5, 2009

All I can say is Kindle! Who will go to Borders anymore when you have the Amazon Kindle.

Samantha Riley posted on: September 6, 2009

I totally agree with your assessment of Borders. They are in trouble and I think much of it is due to lack of emphasis on customer service (on all levels). Your story of the man in the wheelchair is appalling and heart breaking. Your blog speaks of your character Damien - turning in lost items and going to bat for a man who clearly should have been offered a helping hand instead of a door closed in his face. It's obvious you not only have a kind heart but also an amazing business sense. Your blogs are thought provoking and offer incredible insight. I can't wait to see what you do next.

Chris posted on: September 11, 2009

I read this blog post with great interest. I am a former Borders employee. My position was semi corporate. Half my time was spent in my own store, and the rest was spent flying out to open new locations and train staff. After several years with the company, my base store was closed and I suddenly found myself without a job. Just like that. It was very disappointing that after all my hard work they didn't even attempt to place me in another location. I have since found employment with Barnes and Noble, and can say that it is comforting to know that I am now with a company that is seeing positive growth so I won't lose my job to "downsizing". I think there were a lot of valid points made here, and if Borders doesn't step up their game, many more employees will find themselves in the same position I was. The customer is the Alpha and Omega in retail. If you don't take care of them, they won't take care of you.

Nathan posted on: September 24, 2009

Hello great blog entry. I definitely
wanted to put my two cents in
also as a Borders employee. With
regards to the customer service
aspect, I am not so sure about
other stores but when I worked
at the Emeryville location I was
appalled by the how myself and
other employees were treated.
I have worked at many stores,businesses and offices, I
have never had as many complaints
about how a company was run then
Borders. One thing that strikes
me is most people immediately
assume the employee has a bad
attitude, but never understand
that if its one in 20 then
perhaps thats true. But if everyone
working there or a huge majority is
miserable then you know its the
company. I had never worked
alongside so many people who
absolutely hated working there.
Happy during the recession for
actually having a job, but they
were miserable nonetheless.

Rene posted on: September 25, 2009

Has Borders Books corporate read this blog yet? Did you get feedback from them?

I know that our company canceled our Borders account because too many of our employees complained about the customer service at Borders Books as well as the cluttered stores.

I for one hated shopping there and have tried to go back only to ask myself why I am doing it once I get inside and realize the culture has gone from bad to worse and the stores look like a flea market.

I, like many of my colleagues, have just gone to Amazon and life is much easier. If I was a betting person, Borders Books won't be around a year from now.

Anjar posted on: September 27, 2009

I too am a Borders employee. I have to agree with the above post completely in that many of us are happy to have a job during the recession, but miserable working for the company we do. Combining a mandated salary freeze, position freeze and a total disregard from the corporate office for its employees, it's no suprise that morale in the company is at rock bottom. You have to understand that as an employee, it is disheartening to know that no matter how hard you work, or how little you care, you are treated equally by the corporate office. Borders is "owned" by investment group, Pershing Square. The current corporate direction appears geared to short term gain, not long term profitability. Thats why there are so many sales and coupons out there I believe. Liquidate the product to return the investment. It is sad to see a once great bookstore turn into what this is today. Enjoy the holiday sales, but please have a heart for us employees who can't afford a Christmas.

Kaybie posted on: October 20, 2009

Don't know if you read your responses, so this may be whistling in the wind. However, the complaints you have with Borders -- all legitimate, based on my experience as a current bookseller there -- are due to changes Ron Marshall has implemented. You say his changes are taking too long to trickle down? Not so. Whatever he orders is implemented immediately, and you're seeing the results.

Golden posted on: October 20, 2009

As a long-term Borders employee who once loved their job and now sticks around because of the economy, customers and coworkers, I apologize. Here are a few reasons why Borders is failing and causing staff to fail customers:

- Long-term leases in suburbs financed by sub-prime loans to former customers who are now bankrupt, unemployed and foreclosed on
- Borrowed to expand
- Inadequate supply chain and inventory management
- Botched internet and digital businesses
- Too dependent on CDs and DVDs.
- Cut or reduced events
- Cut employee benefits
- Expecting "100% Flawless Execution" from the store staff but not from HQ
- Shilling for publishers
- Seattle's Best Cafe
- Paperchase
- T-mobile Hot Spots
- Cut store staff
- #1 Asset = Borders Rewards members' e-mail addresses
- Coupons
- Inconsistency
- Identity crisis
- Our management are frauds

K.C WYch posted on: October 20, 2009

When I left the company in June - we were allowed 400 hours of payroll a week. This included Salaried Management, Seattles Best Coffee Cafe, and the entire rest of the store staff. Figure out the math on that - and you'll understand what you see Borders Stores. Cutting hours is the number one way to reduce expenses and make things look a little better on paper - as does continuing to return huge chunks of store stock.

Jen posted on: October 21, 2009

As a former employee, I will agree that I have seen your points in action. If I may, many of them stem not from the stores, but from Ron Marshall's systemic stripping of Borders of what was once its most valuable asset: trained, enthusiastic booksellers, all to try to earn back a few pennies on the dollar for Pershing Square.

In general, most of your points can boil down to the fact that stores are dramatically understaffed, and management equally overworked. With no more than 3 staff working at any time in most stores, there are no people to organize shelves, return lost property, train on internal systems, or be visible to help you find something.

I would bet you any money that the manager who closed the store in point 7, in the past week, has worked 6 days at 12 hours/day. In that same week, he has received three threatening emails from his district manager and has been screamed at by 15 customers.
It doesn't excuse rudeness, but it makes it a bit more understandable.

bill posted on: October 21, 2009

What you are seeing is a direct result of Mr. Marshall's actions. The combination of drastic hours reductions & a punitive, aggressive atmosphere has crippled the stores. Forget about 3 threatening emails a week- try 3-10 a day.These come from Marshall on down. There are over 50 Gen. Mgr positions going now because GMs are either jumping ship or being fired for being unable to meet increasingly impossible demands. Our store used to run on 800+ hrs now runs on 550. That's 1 cafe, 1 cashier, 1 seller.Think about it. How can they possibly shelve, organize-much less help you?The focus from corp. is on meeting quotas for books THEY choose(not you the customer) & items like glitter balls.The employees are under almost unbearable pressure to meet these quotas. Again-how can that possibly translate to good cust. service? I can tell you the employees are as frustrated by being unable to provide good cust. service as you are by not receiving it.

Jimmy posted on: October 21, 2009

Let me expand a bit on Bills remarks. He says a bit over 500 hours to man a store open probably 150 hours a week. That's approx. 3 persons in the store...of how many acres..., less if they want to add someone at the busy times. That's not enough manpower to maintain the store (stock, alpha, etc) much less provide greeters etc.

The reason you can't find employees is that there aren't any to find. And that accounts for your #4 too.

#2 & 3 are related, and your comments are spot-on. It costs money to invest in effective and efficient data systems, and having gone through several CEOs (and their assorted entourages) the past decade, the money which should have been invested in that has been diverted to a broad variety of golden parachutes, (which unlike employee wages) are for some odd reason are not considered a cost by modern business culture.

Fred posted on: October 21, 2009


Larry posted on: October 21, 2009

"Fortunate opportunity to meet Ron Marshall"? He's the tempermental, out of touch CEO who's running Borders into the ground. Employees are persecuted, staff is cut or eliminated, and he gets a bunch of financial perks in exchange. As for missing items, perhaps campers and the occasional actual customer could take responsibility for their own items?
You're not qualified to make judgements on Borders, Floor Boy!

Kiwi posted on: October 21, 2009

Words well said by kaybie, Bill & Larry- Ron Marshall was not hired to turn Borders around rather he was brought on to put the final nail in the coffin. As a 'business consultant' you need only examine his previous failures to come to the conclusion that Mr. Marshall is by no means qualified to restore this company to its' former fortune 500 standings. Marshall has brought nothing to the table to Borders in terms of innovation, restoration and profit. Many of the issues you note are a direct result of his leadership or lack there of. Maybe next time you have time on your hands, try talking to the people who know and understand this company & this industry beyond what you think you know-if you can actually find any long term staff left, they'll straighten you out for sure and help fill in the blanks to your 'research'.

blackblocpapers posted on: October 21, 2009

As a current Borders employee, I gotta take some umbrage with this guy. I could go through points 1-6, but there's a twittery limit here, so here's what I have to say re: 7 and 8.

7: Don't leave anything at Borders.

That's good advice. But leave out the "at Borders" part. Don't leave things that are important to you lying around in stores. Chances are extremely good that the staff at given store have found/been handed 10 cellphones this week. It's old news to them. Hang on to your shit.

8. Your story about the guy with the wheelchair & the magazine.

I cry no tears. It is a bookstore - people would sit there all night if you let them. At the various Borders stores I've worked at, I've had four wheelchairing regulars who abused our hospitality. We close at X - we might help you out at X:05, but we don't have to. And if we recognize you from last Friday night, when we all had to stay late, and take your abuse ...

Phil posted on: October 21, 2009

I think you have confused the symptoms for the cause here. Borders at one time was a great company with competent leadership, but thanks to Walmart and Amazon undercutting everyone else in the business ($9 new releases?!) at their own expense (what do they care if they lose a few dollars on each book if it brings in more bargain hunters) that is just not the case. A retail bookstore like Borders simply cannot compete with that. So yes as profits have gone down the toilet, so too has customer service. But is that the fault of the company? or could some of the blame perhaps be shared by the "loyal" customers who stopped shopping at Borders (even back when the service was great) because their books could be found slightly cheaper elsewhere. And don't be surprised when B&N and even smaller local bookstores follow Borders to its grave. They already are.

K posted on: October 28, 2009

I worked at Borders and left recently. When I left, it was because I was being intimidated and harassed by the management without just cause. I was an excellent employee and having my job threatened because I didn't get someone to sign up for a rewards card in the cafe (I was a barista) is pretty ridiculous, at best.

The staff is tired of being treated like shit. We work long hours (often from open to close) without sufficient breaks. Customers yell at us with no provocation. We are left feeling powerless to help anyone, including ourselves. Just ask a bookseller what's become of Borders.

That man who wanted to come in after close to get a magazine? That happened at my store literally every night. If we let everyone in, we'd never close and corporate would be on us about going over hours. So -- kiss the customer's ass and get chewed out, or just go home? Take a guess.

Tom posted on: October 29, 2009

I came to Borders in 2006 with nearly a decade of bookstore experience, worked there for almost two years, and was laid off in the spring of 2008 as part of a swift downsizing of in-store leadership. This was when George Jones was running the ship, and many of the problems we see here - messy stores, pissed-off (or non-existent) employees, subpar computer systems, too many freaking coupons, and EVERYTHING riding on Borders Rewards - were problems well before Marshall came on. Maybe it's gotten a whole lot worse since then; I don't know, because I haven't set foot in a Borders since I lost my job.

Last fall, I was between moves and an old manager at Barnes & Noble graciously took me on as a bookseller for a couple months. The differences between B&N and Borders couldn't have been clearer. B&N has never had the short-staffing issues, the shelves were well-stocked, and the employees just seemed happier. I'm sure B&N isn't perfect, but at least the culture isn't cancerous.

JP posted on: December 9, 2009

I was in an airport Borders the other day and went to use my corporate Borders card which was graciously was offered to me by my employer. This allows 20% off most everything. I went to use one of my cool iPhone apps which allows you to input most reward cards and voila...you now have your reward card (barcode) on your phone. Anyway, the girl at the counter REFUSED to accept it. She said she needed to see the actual card in order to give me my discount. COME ON, really!? There is a reason it's called BORDERS!

Tim Baker posted on: December 14, 2009

As an Independent Author, consumer and journalist I think there there are two other issues that Borders needs to address.
First is the practice of dumpstering. When Borders Group closes 250 Waldenbooks stores hundreds of thousands of books will be destroyed. This is not a consumer friendly practice.
Second, Borders should be more receptive to stocking books by Independent Authors.
The book selling industry is changing rapidly and Borders needs to be at the front of the line if they want to survive.
Tim Baker - Palm Coast, Florida


JMR posted on: December 30, 2009

I, as a customer of Border's, view some of Mr. Patton's recommendations as customer friendly and constructive. For example,uniform employee clothing may help customers spot sales staff. That being said, the comments of former and current employees of Border's Stores make far more compelling reading. As is usual, retail professionals at the store level are thought to be unfriendly, uncaring or unprofessional because a customer was given less than excellent service. It happens. I see plenty of abuse handed out to store personnel. Many seem to believe yelling at retail workers is their right. It cuts both ways. Customer service necessarily suffers when hours and wages are slashed. Help 'em out. Tip the barista. Get acquainted with the computer system; it works for me. Treat other the way you would like to be treated. The staff at my local Border's are carrying on admirably; B&N are down the street but I prefer Border's (and the excellent Seattle's Best Cafe). I value books and Border's.

GroshingOoma posted on: December 31, 2009

I also am a former Borders employee. Although I'll admit technically I worked at the cafe. I left because the change over from being a Borders Cafe to a Seattle's Best was horrible. We were basically told we were no longer able to cater to our regulars b/c Seattle's Best knew what they wanted better than we did, and both Seattle's Best and Starbucks drip coffees are dreadful and over-rated. They started cutting everyone's hours to almost nil despite needing MORE staff at any given time instead of less. Though honestly it seems like the same issues that basically all retail businesses do. Mostly seems to be about corporate being made up of people that have never actually worked at a store level and most likely don't even do their own shopping.

Slugg22 posted on: May 25, 2011

Wow, you really want to turn Borders into Wal-Mart, don't you?

Borders employees don't help you because they don't want to bother you. Half of their clientele want to sit and browse the books without having someone in our face every five seconds. We don't want to feel like gold-fish in shark tanks. We want to read and browse, because that's how you find your next favorite book. Not by someone interrupting you.

Borders stores look different because each store is in a different market area. Different stores and layouts for different market regions. The clientele that Borders markets to is the kind of market that does not want a cookie-cutter type store. They are looking for somewhere to lounge and read--have you ever tried to lounge and relax in the book isles of Wal-Mart? Not so easy. What you are describing is a get-in, get-out store, and that's not what we want.

You want something different? Go to Barnes and Noble, and leave my Borders alone.

Mullis posted on: April 21, 2013


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