Some Wisconsin shoppers will have to close the book on Borders. The company announced bankruptcy last week and plans to shut down a third of its stores nationwide including all three Milwaukee area locations and a Madison store.
UW-Madison Marketing Professor Deborah Mitchell says the news of the liquidation is not surprising but “sobering.” She says the book giant lost touch with its competitive advantage as a gathering place in the community, in addition to taking on too much debt and futile efforts to edge out Amazon.com as an online presence.
Mitchell says the shuttering Borders could open up a niche for mom-and-pop operations to draw those readers who want a place to gather and relax. She describes opportunities for smaller businesses selling books you won’t find at Walmart, another major book seller, and can offer an “experience” for shoppers.
Sales at closing Borders stores brought shoppers out Saturday. Check out lines lasted an hour long at the west side Madison location.