It seems like the downfall of Borders is on everyone’s mind lately. As you may know, Borders is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, following the collapse of its UK chain last year. It seems that competing with Amazon and other online booksellers while simultaneously fighting off independent bookstores all over was simply too much for the giant in the end. Now that Borders is out of the picture, the world has its eyes on former cohort, Barnes & Noble.
But while Barnes & Noble may now seem to be in a place of unprecedented power, with no competitors, it’s actually the independent bookstores we should be watching. Without Borders competing, and with Barnes & Noble unlikely to take up the vacant turf for fear of overreaching in an obviously treacherous market, independent bookstores will be free to start new locations, expand, and offer a more personal experience. According to an article this week by TechCrunch.com, these cozier locations give people an opportunity to get books instantly, receive recommendations, create a relationship with their retailer, and meet other people at the store who may be interested in the same books. It’s an experience that Amazon can never replace.
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