Loss for Borders as sales drop again

Borders yesterday reported a quarterly loss as the second-largest US book store chain cut prices and continued to grapple with lower sales amid a shift to electronic books.

Like its larger bricks-and-mortar rival Barnes & Noble, Borders has had to contend with fierce competition from the likes of Amazon.com whose Kindle, introduced in 2007, has helped it garner a commanding position in the growing digital books market.

But Borders has been much slower than Barnes & Noble, which introduced its Nook e-reader last year, to attack the e-books market and only launched its own e-bookstore in early July. Borders’ sales fell 11.5 per cent to $526.1m for the quarter to the end of July. Sales at its superstores open at least a year, or same-store sales, fell 6.8 per cent, which follows a 17 per cent decline in the year-ago quarter.

The retailer said sales on its website had risen 56.2 per cent to $15.5m but that represents just three per cent of sales.