Is this the end of Borders?

What a week for bookstores! First, Borders in the US files for bankruptcy and then REDgroup over here in Australia (owners of Borders, Angus and Robertson, and Whitcoulls in NZ) goes into administration!

I am not sure what to think of this situation. Part of me is worried that this may be the beginning of the end for bricks and mortar bookstores, the other part says serve them right for charging such outrageous prices!

I mean, if you want to compete you need to be competitive. As it stands, both Borders and Angus and Robertson are pretty expensive places to shop. Last time I entered an Angus and Robertson store to buy a book, I was shocked to find it was $36. Dymocks were selling the same book for $30, Big W for $21.95 and Book Depository, $17.64. With prices like that, where would you buy that book from?

Not to mention the lack of customer service at Borders and Angus and Robertson stores. I was talking to a fellow book blogger about this today, and we agreed that customer service at these stores is pretty much non-existent.

You have to basically chase the staff around the store to ask a question and you are greeted with surly looks and a big *Sigh* that you would dare interrupt them while they are working.

It's not wonder REDgroup finds itself in such a bad position... and to make matters worse, Borders are not refusing to accept gift certificates unless the holder spends equal value to the certificate so they can redeem it.

Uuuum excuse me, Borders? You are telling your customers that although you have already taken the money for the certificate, you are going to charge your customers to redeem it?!

So I understand that they have gone into administration meaning they have no money... I get that. But they have ALREADY TAKEN THE MONEY FOR THE CERTIFICATES! surely this is illegal? I am not an expert on these matters but this reeks of a money-grabbing scam.

I am happy I don't have a Borders gift certificate, but even if I did I think I would rather forfeit it than be forced to spend money to redeem it. Forcing customers to spend double is just wrong. Not to mention they are no longer accepting the use of giftcards on their online store (which is cheaper than their bricks and mortar store). They are not only forcing their customers to spend double, but to do so in store, hence spending even more!

Poor poor form, REDgroup. Poor form. Any support you may have had from consumers has pretty much been destroyed by this move. Enjoy the demise of your business.

What are your thoughts on the problems Borders in the US and REDgroup are facing?
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