DETROIT (AP) - Borders Group Inc. is returning to online
retailing after seven years paired with Amazon.com, but analysts
say it will be a challenge for the nation's second-largest
bookseller to compete with established Web retailers.
The move comes as Borders, which has said it may put itself up
for sale, has lost market share both to online retailers and to
discounters such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. amid a difficult economic
climate in the United States.
It's a long shot, analysts say, in an environment where people
are spending less and Amazon.com rules.
"Amazon just dominates," said Fred Crawford, managing director
at turnaround consultant AlixPartners who has studied consumer
attitudes toward major booksellers. "Amazon is nearly
In 2001, Borders abandoned its money-losing online business,
turning it over to Amazon. Under that arrangement, Borders.com took
shoppers to a site partnered with Amazon, while a Web site for its
stores allowed shoppers to check inventories and reserve items.
Seattle-based Amazon says it doesn't comment on the strategies
of other companies and didn't have any comment on the end of the
Tuesday's launch of Borders' new Web site comes more than two
months after the Ann Arbor-based company announced it may put
itself up for sale. Just last week, Barnes & Noble Inc. confirmed
it put together a team to study the feasibility of a deal.
On the Net:
Borders Group Inc.: http://www.borders.com
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)