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Borders late going viral, caught bankruptcy bug

Industry observers are blaming Borders’ lack of action on the e-commerce front for its financial troubles. The book retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on February 16.

MarketWatch’s Shawn Langlois, noted that in a “critical” error, “Borders initially eschewed a major online presence, opting to roll out more superstores while and Apple crashed in on a growing consumer appetite for electronic books.”

Washington Post blogger Rob Pegoraro noted that Borders decision not to open its own online store until 2008 – 2008! – had a major negative impact on the chain.

“Its worst mistake may have been its decision to opt out of online sales: Borders outsourced Web retail to Amazon from 2001 to 2007 – then didn’t open its own Internet store until May, 2008. More recently, it opted for an all-of-the-above e-books strategy, in which it sold an assortment of third-party e-reader devices instead of developing one of its own.

President /CEO Mike Edwards emailed Borders Rewards members that the company’s rewards programs will continue to be honored and Borders’ eBook libraries will remain untouched with new eBooks still available for download.