Bus 302 Paper 1

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“Amazon.com Reigns Supreme”

Since childhood I have always been a big fan of music. Two of the companies I have purchased music from have been Amazon.com and Borders Book Stores. Before the big wave of internet retailing started Borders seemed to always have the hard to find CDs that my local Best Buy didn’t carry, which was basically the only store in my town that had a decent selection of music. Now that I am able to browse the internet on my smart-phone just about anywhere I go an online retailer, such as Amazon.com, is much more suitable for me.

Borders was a chain of stores that specialized in the sale of books and music in a wide variety. The first store started in 1971 by two brothers, Tom and Louis Borders, while studying at the University of Michigan. It was an 800 square foot store located at 211 South State Street in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. The store specialized in mostly used book sales at the time. In the 1970’s, Louis Borders created an innovative software to keep track of inventory and project future sales accurately (Bomey, 2011).

In 1988 the company hires Robert DiRomualdo to try to improve the leadership of the company. With the addition of Robert DiRomualdo the company wanted to try to have him lead the planned expansion the company had in mind. Later on, DiRomualdo is coined with the success that Borders had in going national in the 1990’s. He was later appointed the positions of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Borders Company (Bomey, 2011).

The 1990’s were a great time for Borders. The company merged with Kmart Corporation in 1992. Kmart Corporation had recently picked up the mall-based book store chain Walden-Books. The merger created the Border-Walden Group. The stores also started incorporating music sales into the stores too. At the time of the merger, Borders had around 21 stores and had a worth around 190 million dollars. In 1995, Borders broke away from the Kmart Corporation and went public on its own as Border Group Incorporated as DiRomualdo as the Chief Executive Officer (Bomey, 2011).

I believe that Borders biggest mistake was that they never incorporated an internet aspect of the business until after businesses like Amazon.com were already up and running and had a good name on the internet. I will touch on that subject later in this paper. In May of 1998 Borders finally introduced the online aspect of the store (Bomey, 2011). Unfortunately, I believe the company’s late bloom with that aspect would prove to be fatal in the end.

The Borders Group Incorporated made some other moves in the late 1990’s into the 2000’s to try to help make profit for the company. Borders went global, they signed a contract with Starbuck’s to set up cafes and sell Seattle’s Best Coffee, and started opening up concept stores to try to fight the other booming companies that were taking its business over. The last time that Borders made any profit was 2006. From there on out, the company lost around one billion dollars a year until it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 16th, 2011 (Bomey, 2011). The company tried to make it out of it in the upcoming months but decided to liquidate on July 18th, 2011 (The Associated Press, 2011).

Amazon.com is by far my favorite website to buy books, music, and just about anything else I could ever want. The selection is immense, the prices are very reasonable, and shipping has always been very prompt and feasible. Personally, now that the internet is so prevalent just about anywhere one goes, I don’t think that Borders ever really stood a chance with a retailer like Amazon.com being thrown into the mix.

Amazon.com was created in 1995 by a gentleman named Jeff Bezos. His goal was to be “Earth's most customer-centric company where people can find and discover virtually anything they want to buy online (Amazon.com Incorporated, 2012).” Within the first month of the business starting, Bezos shipped...
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