Borders is bankrupt

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steve
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Borders is bankrupt

Post by steve » February 16th, 2011, 11:42 am

Borders Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection
Borders Group Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection Wednesday and said it will close about 30% of its stores nationwide in the coming weeks.
Good riddance.
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by Margo » February 16th, 2011, 12:12 pm

Come on, dude. Have a sliver of a heart. That's a lot of lost jobs. The company made a lot of bad decisions and probably deserved their failure, but the rank and file were just stocking the shelves and answering the phones. Collateral damage has a family to feed, too.
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by sierramcconnell » February 16th, 2011, 12:40 pm

Margo wrote:Come on, dude. Have a sliver of a heart. That's a lot of lost jobs. The company made a lot of bad decisions and probably deserved their failure, but the rank and file were just stocking the shelves and answering the phones. Collateral damage has a family to feed, too.
I work in a call center. I have said that before. Here is a fact.

We have 13% turnover. That means we let go\fire\have quit about 35-40 people a month. That's not counting the 5-10 that don't even show up to a job that they already have in the first place.

I have some pity. But no, not a lot.

Also, I overheard this the other day at Wal-Mart.

"I'll see you at work."
"Nope, I'm so done there. I hate that place and those people. You'll have to see me someplace else."

So...people yeah, I feel sorry for them, but there are jobs out there if they look hard enough and are willing to work them. The problem is...'willing to work them'. I know people here who work TWO jobs. And they're administrative SALARY staff.

The people at Borders are hourly to salary. They would be able to make it up if they came to a place like this. It's hard, yes, but they could do it. I made it from a $15 an hour job at a Government institution to a $7 an hour phone call job because I looked and looked and it was all I could find. The jobs are out there.

No one wants to work them. I hear it everyday: "I'll just go get unemployment".

To return to the original post, Borders' problem is that they were way overpriced and gave you coupons and savings tickets that expired before you could use them. They took away the good savings club, and closed the stores that people actually used. They stocked only 'popular' items and never had anything you needed. They had the same useless junk no one wanted, the shelves were too close and you couldn't browse. So people go online.

Oh look. BN and Amazon were WAY cheaper. Of course people aren't going to buy from Borders, especially since they made it so hard to log in and use your points.

They killed themselves. It is good riddance. Because they made it hard to be a customer. I get more out of the Kitchen Connection that replaced it.
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Robin
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by Robin » February 16th, 2011, 12:40 pm

I agree, have a heart. Being jobless, with a family, sucks.

But I have to say, I was sad when I first heard the news, but after reading the article, I think its important to identify their fatal mistake: They didn't fully embrace change.

For instance, B&N saw the ebooks trend and created the Nook. Pretty simple. They proactively made the changes necessary for survival. Unfortunately, Borders (and i love that store) was not innovative, and missed a great opportunity to expand its business offerings.
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by bcomet » February 16th, 2011, 12:57 pm

steve wrote:
Good riddance.
My thoughts too. The Original Borders was great! Too bad about that. We still miss it.

But what became of the mass-market Borders chain was abominable. They had poorly stocked and managed stores and they way mistreated their underpaid and often over-educated employees.

I had friends working there with graduate degrees and the store hired spies to make sure the employees all said their "required speech" to customers -or else!

I also knew a really sweet girl who was hired "on a career track" by Borders. She was so excited. She even broke the news to her grandparents. Ahead of starting her "regular job" she was asked to work wild hours and sent to a dirty storehouse to help pull out all the editions of a new hot release (Dan Brown) for its debut and help clean the store for a regional review, all of which she did with great enthusiasm, just to be working in a bookstore. Then, after all the dirty work was done, (and the Dan Brown release set-up and the review passed) they dumped her, saying they "thought she might be happier somewhere else." No other reason. She thought she might be happier with the job. She is a lover of books, had really been excited about working there and had turned down two other kinds of work for this position. (That, by the way, is a deplorable practice of a lot of chain businesses: to hire someone under the impression of a real job when it's really just for a crunch and then dump them afterward.)

The big chain bookstores also contributed to breaking the banks of a lot of great indie and neighborhood bookstores. I miss those.

Yeah, I agree, Steve. Good riddance.

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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by Margo » February 16th, 2011, 1:27 pm

bcomet wrote:The big chain bookstores also contributed to breaking the banks of a lot of great indie and neighborhood bookstores. I miss those.

Yeah, I agree, Steve. Good riddance.
It was a tragedy that Borders killed a bunch of mom-n-pop bookstores, but the assumption that they will come back (Steve's blog) doesn't really fit reality thus far. People love their Chinese junk and bargain books (and these days would rather steal a book through illegal downloads than click a button and pay with ease). A Super Kmart moved into a small town near by city some years ago and killed just about every mom-n-pop shop of any kind in the whole town (population about 20k). Downtown was/is a ghost town. Then the big box itself pulled out. Did the mom-n-pop shops come back? No. People went to shop at the big box stores 30 minutes away in the next town, and the empty storefront sat there deteriorating for several years. Now it's a Super Wal Mart and the mom-n-pop shops in the next two town are almost dead. These stores exist because of the shoppers, not because they will themselves to exist, but we all hate to admit we participated in killing Mom and Dad, almost as much as we hate paying what something is actually worth. Is complicated, no?

I hated working retail in college, but a job is a job, and many of them out there don't support a college student's schedule or maybe one for a young couple who can't afford childcare and need one parent to work an evening job instead of 8-to-5. The idea that the employees will all find better jobs elsewhere is a gross oversimplification not born out by the sheer number of people who have been unemployed for so long that they no longer even show up in the unemployment stats. Sierra points out there are jobs in her area, but are these store closings in her area? I know of bus driving jobs, but people have to get training first and then either live out in the area (very rural BFE sort of town) or they have to be willing to commute 60-90 minutes each way in Tulle fog. I know two people who would like the jobs; but one doesn't have a car and the other can't find affordable childcare that would let her drop her kids off at 4am to get to this job on time. Heck, there are farmworker jobs out there, but how many of us could really make it to the end of the day fighting wasps in 110 degree heat with no shade or bathroom, covered in fruit juice and peach fuzz that even gets underneath clothing, or maybe negotiating the monster thorns in the cotton rows?

Sorry, but the idea that all out of work people are all too lazy sounds too much like a watered down version of the Wealth Gospel that preaches all hardship is proof of sin and all wealth is proof of virtue, and all virtue is found in the collection plate.

Really, as writers, you'd think this stuff would occur to us, no? That if matters were that simple, that black-and-white, there would be no problems?

Robin's comment pretty much mirrors my thoughts. Borders failed to adapt. I'm happy to see B&N challenging Amazon on ebook business. The competition might keep Amazon's more tyrannical tendencies in check, especially after B&N turned a nice profit off the Amazon censoring incident. Monopolies hurt everyone and make for bad business practices.
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by sierramcconnell » February 16th, 2011, 1:40 pm

Margo wrote:Sierra points out there are jobs in her area, but are these store closings in her area? I know of bus driving jobs, but people have to get training first and then either live out in the area (very rural BFE sort of town) or they have to be willing to commute 60-90 minutes each way in Tulle fog. I know two people who would like the jobs; but one doesn't have a car and the other can't find affordable childcare that would let her drop her kids off at 4am to get to this job on time.
Our Waldenbooks closed last year pre-Christmas. We work around childcare, school schedules, and ADA requirements so long as your stats are good. People commute from up to an hour away for this job. We pay YOU for six weeks of training.

Sorry. Just shot most of that arguement out of the water. We are THAT desperate for good workers. And still most of them would rather have unemployment than work.

EDIT: Oh, and our call center is nationwide, and just opened three more sites and is looking to open a new one in Tucson AZ. We are always expanding. ;3
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by Margo » February 16th, 2011, 1:43 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:Sorry. Just shot most of that arguement out of the water. We are THAT desperate for good workers. And still most of them would rather have unemployment than work.
I think it is probably true for some and untrue for others, and still a gross oversimplification. But I've admittedly spent a long time resisting the gospel ingrained in American culture.

Glad to see you're back and feeling better.
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by bcomet » February 16th, 2011, 1:45 pm

Yeah, it's creepy to see ghosts of once-thriving small businesses.

The small business is still a great hope. In my own circle, we support each others' small businesses as much as possible.
Buy local. Buy ethical. Buy interesting.

Cause when it's gone, it's long gone.

Remember hardware stores? How about the small video rental places? The "corner store?"

People don't travel to New Orleans for Denny's hamburgers.

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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by Margo » February 16th, 2011, 1:47 pm

bcomet wrote:People don't travel to New Orleans for Denny's hamburgers.
OMG I wish this were true! Do you have ANY idea how many McDonald's there are in London? The complaints I hear from people who have gone to exciting exotic places and couldn't find an American-style restaurant? Ack!
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by Robin » February 16th, 2011, 1:53 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:
Margo wrote:Sierra points out there are jobs in her area, but are these store closings in her area? I know of bus driving jobs, but people have to get training first and then either live out in the area (very rural BFE sort of town) or they have to be willing to commute 60-90 minutes each way in Tulle fog. I know two people who would like the jobs; but one doesn't have a car and the other can't find affordable childcare that would let her drop her kids off at 4am to get to this job on time.
Our Waldenbooks closed last year pre-Christmas. We work around childcare, school schedules, and ADA requirements so long as your stats are good. People commute from up to an hour away for this job. We pay YOU for six weeks of training.

Sorry. Just shot most of that arguement out of the water. We are THAT desperate for good workers. And still most of them would rather have unemployment than work.

EDIT: Oh, and our call center is nationwide, and just opened three more sites and is looking to open a new one in Tucson AZ. We are always expanding. ;3
Its great that your company is expanding. Wonderful. But I discourage you from pigeon-holing a population of people. Sure, there are those who don't want to work and would rather get unemployment. Then there are people, who make more from unemployment and have to consider that fact when looking at their kids. And then there are people who work, and want to work, but can't. I know plenty of at-home moms and dads who simply cant afford daycare, so they chose to stay home. What good is it to work, and have your entire check go to daycare?

Don't make such brash statements. You can never lump a group of people together a slap a label on them. Its stereotyping, and its an inaccurate way to demonize people.



(back to the subject of Borders) As writers, I think we can learn from this. As Americans, we can definitely learn a lesson. Change is inevitable. Its going to happen. You are either going to innovate and move with it, or be stagnant and get left behind.
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by Margo » February 16th, 2011, 1:57 pm

Robin wrote:As writers, I think we can learn from this. As Americans, we can definitely learn a lesson. Change is inevitable. Its going to happen. You are either going to innovate and move with it, or be stagnant and get left behind.
This is the point where even I admit I'm studying the ebook issue and the self-publighing issues, evaluating and re-evaluating the data. But don't tell Mira. ;)

Also, I like British food. There, I said it. Handmade chicken and mushroom pies, petrol station sausage rolls cold straight out of the wrapper, sandwiches from the corner kebab shop, British-style curry at midnight after a night at the local theater.
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by Robin » February 16th, 2011, 2:02 pm

Margo wrote:
Robin wrote:As writers, I think we can learn from this. As Americans, we can definitely learn a lesson. Change is inevitable. Its going to happen. You are either going to innovate and move with it, or be stagnant and get left behind.
This is the point where even I admit I'm studying the ebook issue and the self-publighing issues, evaluating and re-evaluating the data. But don't tell Mira. ;)

Also, I like British food. There, I said it. Handmade chicken and mushroom pies, petrol station sausage rolls cold straight out of the wrapper, sandwiches from the corner kebab shop, British-style curry.
I don't blame you, especially after reading about Amanda Hocking and her amazing success. But I must go traditional. Honestly (and can I be brutally honest here), I want the respect that comes from traditional publishing.


....and don't start with the food! You too? I get enough from Cheeky :)
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by Margo » February 16th, 2011, 2:14 pm

Robin wrote:I don't blame you, especially after reading about Amanda Hocking and her amazing success. But I must go traditional. Honestly (and can I be brutally honest here), I want the respect that comes from traditional publishing.
As impressive as her story is, I consider her a statistical aberration for now and have been looking more closely at writers with one book out instead of seven or ten or thirty, writers playing outside the 99 cents or $2.99 price points, and writers with what I would consider a high quality of writing. I draw no conclusions, other than that I think some identified trends bear scrutiny better than others. (I will say I checked out one of the bestselling indie authors - has a ton of adult fiction out - and was stunned at the writing. It would be generous to say it was grade-school level. I'm not exaggerating.)

I will admit that the respect issue is a much smaller motivation for me than it has been in the past. My genre rarely wins awards, and then most of them are given to the male writers, who are deemed 'more literary'. After having had the praise of agents, editors, writers, and readers, I find I prefer writers and readers, and probably readers slightly more. Were I to go self-pub, the only thing I think I would reallly miss would be an incredibly cool, professional-quality cover, the Kevin Hearne kinda cover. I've been drooling over those covers for weeks. Then again, the Big 6 do upon occasion screw the pooch with a cover so bad it's shocking. I was just lamenting over on Sommer's blog that all the best covers right now are on YA books, and adult UF is stuck with hoochy mama tramp stamp butt shots.
Last edited by Margo on February 16th, 2011, 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Borders is bankrupt

Post by sierramcconnell » February 16th, 2011, 2:15 pm

Group reply...

Actually I didn't say everyone didn't want to work. I said most. The great majority of people I know here and have seen don't. I hear it all the time 'why work if...' and it sickens me. It isn't that, it's the ethic. You are supposed to work. It's what you do. And yes, being a stay at home parent is a job, because I know how hard it is.

I was laid off, I know how hard it is to find a job, and it gets to a point where you take what you can get. My dad was laid off. My uncle was laid off. You take what you can get to pay the bills. But a good lump (re: not all) of Americans (like my uncle) are refusing jobs because they don't pay what they want. Also, they got themselves into debt because of retarded choices. Honestly, there are ways out of that, too. It's called getting a second job, having your (gasp) kids work and help pay bills. Selling things you don't need...

A great majority of people these days (once again re: NOT ALL) don't know what its like to live without, live simply, live "poor". And a lot of them even with this downturn, don't want to give that up because they never had the ethic of 'bust your butt' instilled in them.

High time, I think.

Also, no. I'm not feeling better. I was highly depressed because apparently my iron was really low despite the fact I was eating so much meat I could have owned a butcher shop. I'm malnurished because everything I eat goes straight out. It's still doing it somewhat. I have to take a poison pill (belladonna, basically) before I eat just so I can digest enough food to not die. And they're STILL not sure what's wrong with me.

Go figure. Now I find I can't go out in the sun again without a hat and sunglasses. I can't get too stressed or hot. And the medicine that I take to eat makes me faint and dizzy.

Can I die now, or do I still have to hang around lethargically and wonder why I'm here?

Yes. Borders going bye bye = Good.

People losing jobs = Bad.

People can find jobs, yes, if they look for them. I was told everything from 'you're too sweet to hire' to 'I can't hire you because you're a white educated woman, you'd take my job and I can't have that, look somewhere else' at Best Buys. Obviously, I don't shop there anymore. (On that note, don't use the Geek Squad, ever.)
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