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Tech Talk Radio Show 8 of 2011
Transmission date: February 21, 2010
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Ep 08 of 2011
February 21, 2010

Borders

Last week two iconic book shops went into voluntary liquidation. The Border's chain, both here in Australia and in the United States are not travelling too well. The company which owns Border's here in Australia also owns Angus and Roberts, so it to has become a victim of liquidation. But one has to ask why a company like this has fallen on bad times?

If you were to ask a notable retailer like Jerry Harvey, he'd probably say that what we are seeing here is a result of online shopping, where cheaper off-shore alternatives have won over from the locals, but that's just speculation. It's way too easy these days for businesses who are finding retailing tough, to blame the newcomer on the block, that is the internet, for their sluggish sales.

To a degree this may be the case, but it's only a small part of problem. Have you visited a major shopping centre recently? You've probably noticed that there are at least half a dozen book sellers all touting for your business. Speaking from experience, our local shopping center is just like this, so maybe what we're seeing here is an over saturation of real  book shops who are now competing with virtual book shops.

Now these guys can't blame the internet for hard times, and the reason why, is that they are in this space as well. Australian's have always been paying a higher price for books, sometimes double that of consumers in the US, and this, combined with the high cost of a retail outlet, has only compounded the issues that these retailers are now finding. Also, consumers are now more online savvy than ever before. A book is a book. There are many places to buy, and it's so easy to do it from an armchair and have it delivered the next day.

Retailers be warned, this is the future of shopping – embrace the internet, lower you overheads, or prepare to go the same way as Borders and Angus and Roberts.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • What role has the internet played in the demise of Borders and Angus and Robertson
  • Adam Brimo talks to us about vodafail.com
  • Leena Van Deventer talks video games
  • Sony launch a new subscription based music service in the US which will no doubt find its way here
  • And Telstra lay down a time line for their 4G roll out. So what does this mean to their competitors?