SOURCE: Simba Information

Simba Information

January 26, 2010 10:53 ET

Borders Group's Struggles Documented in Book Retailing Report

STAMFORD, CT--(Marketwire - January 26, 2010) - Simba Information, which recently produced the groundbreaking "Trade E-Book Publishing 2009" and "Overview of the U.S. Comic Book & Graphic Novel Market," also has added "Trends in Trade Book Retailing" to its research offerings. The difficulties faced by the Big Three chains -- Borders, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million -- from the pressure of big-box retailers and the challenging economy are analyzed closely in this report, particularly for the former as it has faced these obstacles amid revolving front-office management. Today's resignation announcement of Borders CEO Ron Marshall is the latest example for the retailer.

"Borders has come to personify the challenges facing the book retailing landscape," said Michael Norris, senior analyst at Simba Information. "[Interim CEO Mike Edwards, who replaced Ron Marshall this morning] is the fourth person to sit in Borders' executive office in five years. Borders still has a lot of potential, but leaders need to be there long enough to get that potential realized."

While the total number of bookstores in the U.S. has shrunk significantly over the years, the number of big-box department stores has jumped, the Simba report found. "Big-box stores have a place in the retailing ecosystem, but when you combine the convenience of the 'non-bookstores' with their ability to sell popular books at a loss and the ease by which consumers can access content through the Web, some bookstores have just been caught in the middle and really have to work hard at communicating a reason to shop at their locations."

According to the report, the number of U.S. adults who have bought books at a non-bookstore physical retail location exceeds the number who purchase books online by about 10 million consumers, and the public price wars of last fall may be pushing that number higher.

The report also provides a "scorecard" for each channel -- bookstores, the Internet, book clubs, and "other" -- and a demographic overview of the average consumer who uses each, including book clubs. Simba compiled data from Simmons Market Research Bureau's national consumer survey for this analysis. The four channels are also ranked by the estimated number of customers, what formats they buy, and how many titles the consumers purchase. Additional information can be found at

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