Did eBooks Kill Borders?

Many blaming fingers have been pointing at eBooks for driving Borders into bankruptcy. I think eBooks are falsely accused. eBook’s did not really take off in popularity until late 2010-early 2011 but Borders has been struggling for years.

I found a credible answer from retail expert Howard Davidowitz of  Davidowitz & Associates in an interviewed by Aaron Task of The Daily Ticker. (Link to interview.)

According to Davidowitz,  “There were many missteps that caused [Borders] to fail, from holding too much debt, opening too many stores as well as jumping into the e-reader business too late. I think the biggest thing Borders did wrong [is when]”

“[Borders] turned over their online business to Amazon. That move finished them off because they gave away the future.”

That move happened in 2001 when it was about all about printed books sales–Nobody was taking eBooks seriously back then. Kindle did not even launch until 2007.

Bad Business Decisions  Killed Borders Not My Kindle or eBooks. 

When asked about the fate of Barnes & Noble, Davidowitz said B&N faces an uphill battle but, “I don’t believe in inevitable things because I have seen a lot of great changes done in the retail business.”  He said to survive B&N and other business have to “be paranoid enough to embrace change” and “listen to the customer.”  He believes physical bookstores are not going away but there will me much less of them.