Outside a Borders' bookstore in London

TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: The second largest book seller in the country has filed for bankruptcy. Borders made it official this morning.

Marketplace's Eve Troeh has more on what that means for the book business.


EVE TROEH: Borders will continue to operate, but it's essentially lost the book selling battle to online sales from Amazon, devices like the Kindle, iPad, and nook - from direct competitor Barnes and Noble.

Joseph Feldman is with Telsey Advisory group. He says Barnes and Noble at least saw the digital revolution coming.

JOSEPH FELDMAN: Barnes and Noble was a lot faster to shift and to try to participate in this whole digital e-reading market. Borders was late to it, and as a result I think they've never been able to catch up.

It's hard to catch up when you've been in survival mode as long as Borders. It's changed management, cut jobs, and tried to shift around its debt. Now, with the bankruptcy filing, Borders will close up to 200 locations. And Feldman says that hurts more than book shoppers.

FELDMAN: That's a big dent in orders to the book publishers.

Those publishers are themselves scrambling to adjust to the digital marketplace. And with 200 fewer retail outlets for books, that transition speeds up.

I'm Eve Troeh for Marketplace.

About the author

Eve Troeh is News Director at WWNO-FM in New Orleans, La., helping build the first public radio news department in the station’s 40-year history. She reported for the Marketplace Sustainability Desk from 2010 to 2013.

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