Mar 22 2007
Borders Group announced both a fourth-quarter loss and plans to "reinvent itself" through a plan to roughly triple pretax profit margins.
The company's plan entails boosting inventory turnover by 25%, focusing on its domestic superstores (redesigning some to include digital centers), nearly cutting in half the size of the Waldenbooks chain, considering alternatives for most of its 73 international stores (selling all 41 in the UK), and introducing a new e-commerce site in 2008 - thus ending the alliance it has had with Amazon.com since 2001.
Waldenbooks (smaller stores operated mainly in malls) has been particularly affected by the downturn in the book market. As a result, Borders plans to close nearly half of its Waldenbooks outlets over the next 18 months. By the end of 2008, it expects to be operating only 300 Waldenbooks, down from 564 at the end of 2006.
Mirroring moves made by Barnes & Noble Inc, Borders plans to build a much bigger proprietary publishing operation by striking deals with Hollywood writers, celebrities and best-selling authors.
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