It should be no surprise that the war of words continues in the proxy fight between Ron Burkle and Barnes & Noble, with both sides embarrassing themselves in exaggerting the situation and claiming the mantel of “independence” to which neither is entitled. The most notable part of Yucaipa’s latest response from yesterday to accusations from Barnes & Noble is their continued insistence that “Yucaipa has no plan to acquire control of your company.” They ask why nominating three directors on a nine-person board threatens control of the company, and note that “in a March meeting with two of Barnes & […]
Archives for August 2010
California’s giant state university system (with over 425,000 students on 23 campuses) is starting a pilot digital course content licensing program with the major textbook companies–Macmillan’s Bedford/Freeman/Worth, Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill Education, Pearson, and Wiley. Senior Director of Academic Technology Services Gerard Hanley says “the purpose of the Digital Marketplace is to provide everyone access to quality, affordable educational content. This is a wonderful example of an academic institution and publishers working together for the benefit of our students.” The announcement explains that “each participating instructor volunteered for the program that promises students will pay the lowest price available for the […]
Executive chairman of Australia and New Zealand bookstore giant RedGroup Retail (comprising Angus & Robertson; Borders ANZ; and Whitcoulls) Rod Walker is leaving his job. He took over after the Borders acquisition. The company says they have obtained the waiver from their loan covenants that they were seeking in the wake of reduced EBITDA of $25 million for the current fiscal year. Owners Pacific Equity Partners indicate they are “exploring a range of options to strengthen its balance sheet longer term.”TVNZ Timber Press has hired Andrew Beckman as their new editorial director, starting September. He was formerly the editorial director […]
Back in actual bookselling, today Borders announced a new solution to their longtime “rewards” problem. For years the company has hailed their tens of millions of enrolled rewards program members as a key to a planned turnaround, but they have regularly failed to convert those memberships into meaningful results. Now they will follow Barnes & Noble’s approach with a second paid Borders Rewards Plus program. A $20 annual membership will provide “savings on nearly all Borders merchandise, and free shipping on virtually all online orders.” The enhanced discounts include “40 percent off the list price of hardcover bestsellers, 20 percent […]
Borders is trying to keep up with the price cuts on ereaders, lowering the tab on their Kobo reader $20, down to $129. They are dropping the Aluratek Libre price by a similar amount, now at $99.99. Separately, the AP reports that Staples will join Target in carrying all three models of Kindle readers in their stores this fall.
As you may know, Barnes & Noble announced yesterday that they will close their big 60,000-square-foot Lincoln Center store in New York at the end of the next January after being unable to negotiate an acceptable lease after 15 years in the location. Spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating said “the increased rent that would be required to stay in the location makes it economically impossible for us to extend the lease.” (The NY Daily News cites real estate experts who expect that the asking price will be double to triple what BN has been paying, at $250 to $300 a square […]