It Isn’t Just Catholic Stores Having a Hard Time

Borders, the nation’s second-largest bookseller, said Thursday it may put itself up for sale and has lined up $42.5 million in financing to help the chain continue operations.

Shares tumbled more than 17 percent, or $1.23, to $5.87 at the open of trade.

Borders has lost market share both to online companies and to discounters like Wal-Mart Stores  Inc.


As Catholic retailers we have to always keep in mind that running a business like a business is not an option in our market, any more than it is an option in the “real” world of business outside the religious sphere.

It is especially important to note that the reasons for the problems at Borders are not confined to that chain. Online competition will take a heavy toll on any store that doesn’t have a web presence. Our niche is both a curse and a blessing. As a group we run our businesses so poorly that there isn’t enough of a market for places like Walmart to get interested in selling Catholic stuff. On the other hand, our niche is run so poorly that there are very few healthy players in the industry.

I was reading a Christian Retailing trade journal a few months ago and there was an article about large, long-standing stores closing and they cited the same reasons as Borders for the closures.

As a business owner you have got to adapt to the changing retail environment around you or you WILL close. Adaptation doesn’t just give you a competitive edge,  it keeps you alive.


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