After years of troubling reports, it appears that Borders could indeed be on the verge of catastrophe.
After what should have been a profitable holiday season, the chain missed payments to publishers and has been trying—without much success, as reported yesterday by Publishers Weekly—to negotiate terms. Publishers are, quite understandably, tired of playing ball. To make matters even murkier (and financial matters usually are), it was announced late on Thursday that Borders secured new financing which may buy them some time.
A few days ago, the Washington Post ran an article that explained more clearly than any piece I’d read before exactly what happened to the once glorious Borders empire.
I won’t attempt to summarize the article here since it’s such a lucid account of exactly how the company got itself in this pickle, but it’s hard to imagine the blindness of company executives who failed to grasp the importance of the Internet (crucial mistake number one) and eBooks (crucial mistake number two). I mean, heck, who knew the Interwebs was going to catch on? And eBooks? Who’d-a-thunk dedicated readers would so eagerly embrace an easier and faster way to get their hands on the books they love?