Borders Shifts Strategies, Cuts Amazon Ties
At the same time, Borders announced it is giving up on a decade-long effort to expand its own book-superstore concept internationally and will sell or franchise most of its 73 overseas Borders stores. The company also plans to close nearly half the Waldenbooks outlets--smaller stores operated mainly in malls--it owns throughout the U.S.
In a move mirroring a similar venture by its larger rival--Barnes & Noble Inc.--it plans to build a proprietary publishing operation by striking deals with Hollywood writers, celebrities and best-selling authors. Borders will not make any of its proprietary hardcovers available to other retailers. Yet it is confident it will be able to place some of its titles on the national best-seller lists, with help from its database of nearly 17 million Borders Rewards members.