Retail bookseller Borders has announced that it will be reopening its own ecommerce website, severing its online retail relationship with Amazon.com in the process.
The online Borders store coincides with the Borders Group’s renewed emphasis on its core brand, which also includes revitalizing the idea of the brick-and-mortar Borders superstore. “Our company’s performance has fallen short in an industry that is increasingly competitive, technology driven and price sensitive,” said CEO George Jones in a statement. “Our ultimate goal is to make Borders a vital community gathering place where people come together to see, touch, interact, and learn — online and in-store.”
Borders expects to open a Borders-branded ecommerce store by early 2008, and expects to increase the profitability of brick-and-mortar stores by 2009. The company will be downsizing its Waldenbooks specialty brand, closing or selling more than two-hundred stores by the end of 2008.
Borders will be leveraging its 17 million-strong Borders Rewards program to help drive traffic to the upcoming Borders.com retail site, which currently redirects users to Amazon.com. Customers will also be able to use Borders.com’s in-store kiosks to special order items. Borders has been developing a unified site architecture to seamlessly blend the in-store and online experiences.