Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Librairies sans frontieres

So Borders is placing its knitting back in the box and putting its Australian stores up for sale, just as WHSmith did before them. While local publishers are no doubt very concerned that the 20-store chain is maintained in some form, I'm sure there are plenty of booksellers adjacent to Borders outlets who must be feeling like the inhabitants of the Earth at the end of H G Wells' War of the Worlds. There is some suggestion that a management buyout of the US chain's Australian stores may be a possibility, but perhaps just as likely Pacific Equity Partners (owners of Angus & Robertson) may jump in or perhaps Dymocks, given Borders has expressed an interest in franchising. One thing appears likely - for the moment, anyway. We can wave goodbye to that phenomenon so beloved by sales managers - the Borders' new store opening order.

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