I like to order my cold drinks (especially soda) without ice, because–shocking revelation–I don’t really like ice. I didn’t realize that all of these years, I’ve been running a massive scam on the eateries of America, weaseling extra beverages out of them with my innocent request. That’s what a barista at a Borders store accused JD of doing when he ordered an iced chai with no ice. She gave JD what he describes as “half a cup of lukewarm chai” (pictured). New Borders policy, or was she a vigilante anti-ice crusader?
Thanks to their site being down for maintenance, you can get 30% off at Borders.com until midnight PST tonight, 7/12/10.
Borders CEO Ron Marshall has decided to move on to better things after only a year. The troubled bookseller is currently in the process of closing 182 of its Waldenbooks stores (more than half of them), and is generally being frowned upon due to its lack of initiative in getting into the e-reader market. (Amazon has the Kindle, B&N has the Nook, and Borders has um…hmmm…) Now they’ll have to find a new CEO to turn things around.
If you’ve ever worked in a bookstore, you’re probably intimate with the practice of pulping mass market paperbacks. Publishers reimburse booksellers for inventory they don’t sell, but paperbacks are so cheap to produce that it would cost more to return them than to throw them away. Instead, stores tear off the covers, mail those back as proof of unsold inventory, and throw the books in the trash.
Shortcovers, an ebook retailer that I recommended to a Sony Reader owner last month, has morphed into something called kobobooks.com, and it’s now partially owned by Borders. If you own an ereader other than a Kindle, or if you read ebooks primarily on a smartphone, you might want to add it to your list of sources for ebooks.
Later this month, Borders and Verizon will roll out free Wifi access in “virtually all” Borders stores, with no password or access fee required. Borders’ CEO Ron Marshall says their goal is to extend “the open atmosphere of exploration that is at the core of every great bookstore experience,” and then he said something about building a community, yakkity yak. You know how press releases are. Whatever, Marshall, we’re just happy you’re offering free Wifi access!
Yesterday’s post about Borders closing down its unprofitable CD and DVD sections prompted a tip from the owner of a small music label. He says his distributor has already cut off shipments to Borders once for nonpayment (in November 2008), and on Monday the distributor warned labels that they’ll have to agree not to hold him “liable on any future shipments to Borders in case they file for bankruptcy.” Borders’ CFO left in January, which is rarely a good sign for a troubled company. And this morning, the Detroit Free Press notes that the bookseller is facing being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. We may not have to wait long to find out; CEO Ron Marshall is hosting a conference call with analysts and investors next week.
We received this tip from an alleged Borders employee today. According to this person, if you saw some yellow discount tags of 30% off DVDs and CDs in your local Borders store this weekend, it’s a sign that they’re closing out those sections except for top sellers. Expect to see much steeper discounts in the coming weeks. The full tip is copied below.
Reader Katie writes to us with an amazing Borders customer service story, full of love, loss, credit, and a fiery inferno of possible death. Katie’s letter inside.
Borders gave a reader a coupon for $5 off any purchase of $5 or more. As our reader notes, “is this the right tactic for a struggling company to take?”
Ali writes, “I was at the Borders in Elk Grove, CA with my cousin when I noticed these toys in the section with iPod accessories and various other objects. The funny thing is, all the other packages behind it were exactly the same.” Now you can learn about nature, and maybe pick up some new sexual slang, while you play horse farm!
Borders has finally decided to launch its own website (previously, its online business had been handled by Amazon.com). CEO George Jones says:
Borders, the second largest bookstore chain, may try to sell itself to someone. [NYT]
Should you ever have need to send email to a a bunch of people there, the format for Borders Group, which owns all the Borders iterations, Waldenbooks, Schulers Books, and Books Etc, is firstname.lastname@example.org.