Last week, Borders, the book and music empire, announced that it would be closing some of its stores in Connecticut. This was certainly a shock to many, including myself who shops at the Simsbury location, just down the road from The Shoppes at Farmington Valley and a quick 20 minute drive from Torrington. During the holiday season, I could be found catching up on s few books and magazines inside the stores Seattle’s Best Coffee Shop, a great place to unwind as you kick back with a custom-made coffee as well as a good book. It was certainly the place to be as many enjoyed this awesome little hideaway with me.
Borders wasn’t the only bookstore in the area, however. Barnes & Nobles, the king of book retailing is located just around the corner at The Shoppes at Farmington Valley. I have come to enjoy this place as well with its book nook environment. Speaking of Nooks, Barnes & Noble by far out beat Borders in the e-reader market when it launched the Nook, which was an instant success amid fears from analysts in the industry who thought there would be no market for this sort of thing. Wow, were they ever wrong. Almost everyone I know has a Nook. In fact, I even have the Nook app on both my iPhone and iPad.
One has to sit back and wonder, however, was the e-reader one of the many things that hurt Borders? Although they had a similar one, they were too late to capitalize anything off of it as Barnes & Noble by far gave them a run for their money. Something that I always preach, as a manager in the retail environment, is that you have to stay ahead of the competition. You have to consistently look into ways into being more innovative as well as more progress based of course. It seems to me, that Borders became a follower of Barnes & Noble rather than to go off on their own path, which is how many of today’s businesses succeed in the market place.
With Borders closing comes new concerns, however, and that concern is the fight for books in Torrington. Many in town would like to see a bookstore here, and quite frankly I don’t blame them. Though it is only a 20 minute drive to the Barnes & Noble to The Shoppes at Farmington Valley, as well as a 20 minute drive to the Barnes & Noble in Waterbury, it is still a drive none the less, and a drive that can sometimes be daunting, especially at night as the roads to and from these locations are unlit. Many have sent e-mails to both Borders and Barnes & Noble asking them to come to town, but both have said that they won’t make the investment into the area, and now we know why Borders won’t come as they have filed for bankruptcy.
The concern is real, and as another bookstore in the region closes, the fight is still on to bring a bookstore to Torrington. One has to wonder, however, if there is a great deal of people asking for one, why hasn’t anyone made any moves to build one?