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.


  1. Perry3 July, 2010

    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. Mike Cane3 July, 2010

    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. carly3 July, 2010

    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)

    1. Nate the great3 July, 2010

      You’re the third person who’s told me this. Damn, they are doomed.

  4. Clint Bradford4 July, 2010

    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

    1. Sam3 November, 2010


      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. Borders US Non-selling the Kobo | The Digital Reader13 July, 2010

    […] July 3rd I reported that none of the five local Borders stores that I called knew a thing about the Kobo. That post is still […]

  6. […] home the many complaints I’ve heard from former Borders employees. (Read the third comment here, for one […]

  7. Sad Sack26 February, 2011

    Yes to all of the above.


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