Borders is doomed

by Clint Bradford

Since my local Borders store had a "Kobo in stock July 2!" little card displayed with the other eReaders last weekend, I called them today, looking for another Kobo as a gift.

I called FIVE Borders stores in my region (Southern California). NOT A SINGLE ONE KNEW WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT. No one who answered the phone knew what a "Kobo" was.

I kid you not. Every time I asked, "Are the kobo eReaders in stock yet?" - I had to be placed on hold ... had to repeat myself. The fourth store cheerily stated that they had a bunch of them in stock. I repeated myself, "Wow, the Borders kobo eReader?"

"Oh, yes - made by Sony, we have a lot of them in stock ... "

If Borders think they are going to seriously enter the eReader business, they need to get their employees on board. Now.

I am writing Borders' customer care right now. I am a fan of this device. But if the front line sales staff is asked for a Kobo and hands me a Sony - then Borders' eReader presence is doomed.

Clint Bradford
Grumpy from being up all night (g)

P.S. - Store managers this morning gave me FOUR different arrival dates: 12th, 15, and 17, and "call next week."

P.P.S. The Borders ebookstore is up, incase you're interested.

7 Comments on Borders is doomed

  1. Not a good sign. In Canada, the Chapters/Indigo staff knew exactly what I was asking for and gave me a great demo of the KOBO even though they were out of stock.

    Does Borders have such poor staff communication for everything, or just ereaders?

  2. My nearest Borders heard of it and actually had a demo model — but doesn’t anymore. I guess that’s something. But multiply your experience by TEN — because that’s what Borders has stated it wants to do. Carry a selection of TEN eBook devices in its upcoming in-store “Area E.” “Oh yes, we have the Alex Reader. That’s the one from Sony, right?”

  3. That’s about right for Borders. They are a nice company that’s wholly incapable of doing anything right.

    For the record, when I was a manager at Borders, every time something went wrong, was f—ed up by the home office, etc., we would shrug and say “I bet Barnes and Noble doesn’t have ____* problem!”

    *Insert your own disaster here (floor falling apart, corporate response to floor falling apart: “put a display over it”, corporate telling me to fire cafe workers over borders rewards numbers, customers bitching about coupons, insane inventory numbers or lack thereof, ceiling leaking, lack of a budget to repair anything, THE ENTIRE PAPERCHASE SECTION)

  4. Technically, it should be titled, “Borders IS doomed … ”

    I had a 20+ minute telephone conversation yesterday with a resolution specialist at Borders corporate. I was very pleased with what I heard. I firmly believe that there WILL be shared employee knowledge when the kobo rolls out to Borders retail stores in the middle of this month. Call me an optimist … (g)

    Clint Bradford

    • Clint

      I work for Borders and am truly sorry you received that kind of service. I hope the specialist helped solve the problem. There are many of us at Borders that truly are excited about the e-Readers.

  5. Yes to all of the above.

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Borders US Non-selling the Kobo | The Digital Reader
  2. E-readers – one of Borders many misteps | The Digital Reader

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