Monthly Archives: October 2009

Borders in administration

This last week brought the sad news that Borders has gone into administration. The company lost over £13m last year and has struggled to find a buyer for the chain. Before a management buyout, it was owned by Luke Johnson (Chairman of Channel 4) and his private equity firm. They in turn had bought the chain from the US owners in 2007.

The first Borders superstore opened in Oxford Street in 1998. Borders had an urban bias, with a strong customer base amongst the 35-44 age bracket and an AB socio-demographic group. It sold a range of other products, including magazines, music, toys and DVDs, and had 45 stores.

A further decline in competition on the High Street is not good news for book buyers, and the problems faced by Borders can be attributed to the growth in discounted book sales through the Internet and supermarkets. Some are pinning their hopes on a revival of independent bookselling – see the article here sep 18, 2014 –

Man and Wolf

The Man Booker Prize was won on Tuesday evening by Hilary Mantel for her novel Wolf Hall. She received a cheque for £50,000 and the benefits that come from winning the Booker, including international fame and a considerable uplift in sales (up to fifteen times the sales before the win).

In Inside Book Publishing we publish a piece by Richard Knight on how to manage the sales of a Booker winner. He writes:

Because of the timing of the award, winning the Man Booker means that whatever the sales in the winning week, you will get an identical sales peak 10 weeks later at Christmas … Those titles where paperback editions are already in existence when the win is achieved, or where they are rushed out shortly after, can soar to massive heights following the initial surge in sales.