Wed July 20, 2011
BookPeople Sees Sales Gain With Borders' Collapse
While Borders Bookstores could begin liquidation across the country as soon as Friday, Austin’s three locations are already long gone. Their evaporation was followed by a slight bump in sales at Austin’s largest independent book retailer, but that doesn’t mean BookPeople’s owner is excited to see Borders disappear.
“I actually feel kind of bad about it because I think it’s bad not to have more showrooms,” BookPeople CEO Steve Bercu told KUT News, who worries about the implications for publishers to lose hundreds of thousands of square feet of display space.
“I also think it’s bad not to have a counter-weight to Barnes and Noble," he said.
Bercu says BookPeople’s sales were up by 3 percent in June and up more than 7 percent this month, so far. He can’t confirm it’s because of Borders collapse, but some customers have told him they used to shop at the Ann Arbor-based bookstore chain.
BookPeople, Austinites will recall, was at the center of the "Keep Austin Weird" movement launched early in the last decade, largely in opposition to the announcement that a Borders store would open in its vicinity.