Thursday, February 14, 2008

Borders' Concept Store Opens

Short of visiting Ann Arbor to look over the store myself the nice people at Ann Arbor News got to preview the store opening yesterday and have written a detailed review. I hope to get out there myself in the next few months in the meantime here are some notable items from the AA News article:

The store, in the Waters Place plaza near Kohl's in Pittsfield Township, is the first of 14 concept stores the struggling retailer will open this year. Borders is striving to restructure and brand itself as a center for "knowledge and entertainment," increase sales and differentiate its 520 U.S. stores from its chief rival, Barnes & Noble

The music section has been downsized, and in its place is Borders' digital center. The circular, oversized kiosk features several computer stations where customers can burn music CDs, download music and audiobooks onto MP3 players, create digital photo albums, learn how to self-publish and research family genealogy.

Jones said the amount of floor space dedicated to books has remained consistent in the new store, but the company decreased the number of titles it offers to make better use of space. Now, Borders stacks more books so the cover, rather than the spine, faces the customer. The new Borders also sells some digital cameras, memory cards, and more toys and gift items. Still, the selection doesn't overwhelm the main attraction - books.

There is a video in the article as well.

It might be more interesting to see how this concept store evovles as they get direct feedback from consumers. Borders' deserve credit for expanding the idea of what a bookstore is; how their ideas resonate with book buyers is obviously the point of the concept. My only negative comment is that they get points off for utilizing The Long Pen autographing system: taking autographing to the network level just eliminates all the fun.

No comments: