“Book stores are going away.” That is the conclusion reached by Mike Shatzkin, chief executive of Idea Logical Co., a consulting firm based in New York. Shatzkin offered his ominous prediction to The Wall Street Journal as that paper was reporting on the expected bankruptcy filing by Borders, one of the nation’s largest book store chains.
That Chapter 11 filing came Wednesday, along with the announcement that the chain is closing about 200 stores — approximately 30 percent of Borders locations.
The decline and fall of Borders will be studied for years to come. The chain’s management bears considerable responsibility for the crisis. They opened far too many locations, allowed many of their most important stores to grow old and unattractive, and reduced their inventory of titles. Beyond all that, the firm managed to miss out on the digital revolution, a branded e-reader, and the explosion of online book sales.