Last week, Borders announced that it will liquidate and shut down its 399 stores. After filing for bankruptcy in February, the chain continued to lose money and failed to find a solution to stay in business. Technology has played a large part in the bookseller’s financial woes. Between online retailers and e-readers, it’s becoming more difficult for brick-and-mortar stores like Borders to match prices and keep their customers coming back.
Changing the Game
So how prominent are e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle or Barnes and Noble’s Nook, anyway? Only 14.4% of respondents in Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey currently own one. However, an additional 44.6% said they would consider buying one. 41.1% said they wouldn’t consider buying one, because they prefer printed books.
Where do your books come from?
When asked where they went to purchase books, 41.1% of respondents said they go to Borders, Barnes and Noble or another chain store. Slightly more people, 45.3%, said they shop online at stores like Amazon.com. Only 9.7% use e-readers, 22.3% shop at small local bookstores, 30% borrow books from the library, and 15.6% said they don’t ever buy books.
Only 12.1% of respondents said they regularly shop at Borders, while 36.9% said they have shopped there, but don’t do it often. The rest said they never shop at Borders, though most do shop at other bookstores.
When asked how many books they read per month, 38.1% of respondents said one or fewer, 28.2% said two to four, and 17.1% said five or more. 16.6% said they never read.
As for the future of books, most don’t believe that e-readers will completely replace books. 65.3% of respondents believe that books will always remain relevant, but e-readers will also be popular, 18.1% believe that e-readers will become the primary form of reading material, and 16.6% believe that books will always remain the primary form of reading material.
As technology evolves, will stores like Borders continue to struggle, or will we ever find a happy medium where bookstores, online retailers and e-readers can co-exist? There’s no question that technology has changed the game in many industries. Will companies like Borders continue to fall?