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Borders is bringing e-books to the masses and not just by selling the Sony Reader. After announcing a large and unexpected fourth quarter loss, Borders outlined its strategic plan to increase its position in the marketplace. This plan includes selling off many of its overseas outlets, severing its relationship with Amazon.com, and closing more than half of its Waldebooks Stores by 2008.

Believing that digital initiatives are the future, Borders will open its own e-store and create physical digital centers in its stores that will offer downloadable audiobooks and ebooks. It will sell the digital medium to utilize those downloadable items such as MP3s an Sony Readers. Via Shelf Awareness.

While I think this is a great idea, I wonder how the pricing will work. In order to be competitive pricewise, Borders will need to obtain the books directly from the e-distributor and not through a retailer like Sony. It will be interesting to see whether Borders will market and create its own branded E Ink reader from a company like Bookeen with software that would allow you to read the popular formats such as MS Lit and Mobipocket or whether the company will continue to use Sony Reader as its main e-book-reading device.

3 COMMENTS

  1. […] George Jones, Borders’ recently named CEO, now declares online to be "a necessary component of our business." He says that launching the business "won’t be a slam dunk" but that it will complement the company’s bricks-and-mortar stores and will enable Borders to partner with a variety of companies. … To make its U.S. stores more attractive, Borders is working on a prototype of a new superstore design that will include a digital center. The centers will enable customers to purchase a variety of digital products, including music and audiobooks, and provide such services as personal publishing. The first of the new concept stores will open next year. Related: Bookstores: Digital or paper? Or both? [via TeleRead] […]

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