Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Borders' New Model Influence Spreading

Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, my favorite writer at the Wall Street Journal, had an article this morning about another change at Borders.

On February 15, I reported here on the new model store Borders Group is testing in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

On March 5, the CEO of Borders was a speaker at the Association of American Publishers' annual meeting in New York (see here)

Trachtenberg said:

In a radical move aimed at jump-starting sales, the nation's second-largest book retailer is sharply increasing the number of titles it displays on shelves with the covers face-out. Because that takes up more room than the traditional spine-out style, the new approach will require a typical Borders superstore to shrink its number of titles by 5% to 10%.

Today's Publishers Lunch had this to say:

At the recent AAP meeting Borders CEO George Jones reported that in the first few weeks at their new concept store in Ann Arbor, more face-out and a smaller title selection than a typical superstore were producing a 'dramatic' increase in sales. Now the chain is quickly spreading those changes throughout their stores. The WSJ says 'customers throughout the country should be able to see the difference in displays within six weeks'."

Today's Shelf Awareness reported:

At a typical Borders superstore, the reduction of inventory will be between 4,675 and 9,350 titles out of about 93,500. Borders said customers at its new concept store had the impression that more books were available . . . [By contrast], the average 25,000 square-foot Barnes & Noble superstore stocks approximately 125,000 to 150,000 book titles, and the chain says it has no intention of cutting back.

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