Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bankrupt books

So last week we noticed the announcement that Joseph Beth bookstore was closing its South Side Works location.  I still think there are things to talk about the state of retail there along the Mon, but it looks like it was not a story about the location much at all.  Turns out Joseph Beth is filing for bankruptcy. Looking to reorganize, but I wonder how much will survive.


Blogger hholt01 said...

So Joseph Beth did us like USAirways then? Oops at least UScareways let us have them till after they came OUT of bankrupcty protection. I do wonder if your firm declares bankruptcy why not just let the judge decide which stores to close, I mean why exhaust yourself more doing the job the judge will do for you. Financial window dressing perhaps?

Friday, November 12, 2010 12:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Used to do a bit of consulting in the industry back in the day, and I have a theory. Bookstores have been precariously teetering on the edge of extinction for a while. In their salad years, the 1990s and early Aughts, chain bookstores made 100% of their profit from product placement. They only broke even on the actual selling of books. All the real money was in making sure various demographics saw what the publishers wanted them to see. So Random House paid tall dollars to Barnes and Noble and Borders to put the latest Tom Clancy clone in just the right spot so white men aged 35-65 would see it, and so on. Being able to buy books on the Internet upset the balance quite a bit, and retailers scrambled to value add stuff like fancy coffee and so on to lure in a diminishing base. Publishers started shifting money to online marketing efforts and away from store placement. Even though back then it wasn't all that much, major retailers were, in private, predicting the end of the bookstore as early as 1999. I'm betting e-readers have really upset that balance. I bought a Kindle and then an iPad. The only bookstore I've been in since was a quick stop at Borders a while back. I popped in to buy a cup of coffee.

Friday, November 12, 2010 9:26:00 AM  
Anonymous MH said...

As near as I can tell, bookstores are trying to make money by becoming toy stores. This was not an unsuccessful idea, at least as far as our household goes.

Friday, November 12, 2010 9:55:00 AM  

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