Borders Group Inc. recently announced that it would liquidate and close all stores, resulting in the layoffs of over 10,000 employees. Like many, I would imagine, I was saddened by the demise of my romanticized picture of this wonderful place to explore shelves, flip through magazines or grab a coffee… But then I realized, hey, I hadn’t actually been in a Borders to do any of those things in well over two years. Guess that was the issue, right?
Once the place to go for a wonderful literary *shopping experience*, most of us now go to *places* like Amazon for our reading needs. A few clicks and all the books you could ever want are right at your doorstep. Or because we need even quicker (and greener) gratification, we now carry the equivalent of dozens of books and magazines on our iPads (and it weighs about as much as one small book that I used to buy at my now defunct Borders.)
The sad example set by chains like Borders (and even Blockbuster) should serve as a lesson to all retailers, and really to all marketers in general — better make friends with technology and proactively plan to be a part of people’s future… or you may only be a part of their past.
So yes, I admit, I will always enjoy the feel of real paper as I turn the page on a hard copy book or newspaper, but maybe when my iPad can make me a cup of hot chocolate while reading an online magazine, I’ll change my tune, too.