Original image: Mickey_P
While its an experience, thousands still enjoy everyday, the end may be closing in for physical book stores. Today both Borders, Angus & Robertson are bankrupt, well actually their parent company REDgroup is. In a strange parallel, the exact same day Borders in the US also filed for bankruptcy, the two owners are different, but the problem is the same.
While some book nerds will tell you there’s something angelic about the experience of browsing for books, the reality is, online is better. The ability to shop conveniently from home for usually much cheaper prices than physical books in-store, its hard to compete. Very hard it would seem with the economics no longer making sense, so much so that 2,500 employees are now without a job.
“Angus & Robertson is Australia’s largest book retailer and has 103 directly owned stores and 61 franchised stores located in every state and territory.”
This trend is reinforced by Amazon last year, announcing they now sell more e-books than hardcovers.
Should Apple take credit for disrupting the industry with their iPad ? Maybe some, but so does Amazon, creator of the popular e-book reader – Kindle as well as having Kindle software on pretty much every platform imaginable. So is this the beginning of the end for retail book stores ?
If book publishers were paying attention to what’s happened in the music world, then the price of physical books would have dropped dramatically to appeal to enthusiasts for a few more years. Ultimately we all know how this will end.. Book stores will become the new record store. Small boutique offerings to cater for a niece of consumers, but gone are the days of a 3-floor book megastore – RIP.
More info @ SMH