Borders Prepares For Launch Of Online Site

    January 16, 2008

Borders online relationship with will end in April when the book retailer will strike out on its own with the launch of its new site.


Previously Amazon had operated Borders online site and borders received a portion of the sales from the site.  The new site is in beta and Borders began testing it late last year. "We really want it to feel comfortable for people who love to come into book stores," Kevin Ertell, vice president of e-business for Borders told Reuters.

Users of the site cannot yet purchase items from the site but over the holiday period one feature that proved popular was being able to check to see if an item online was in stock at a local store. Customers could then reserve the item online and pick it up at their local store.

Rob Gruen, executive vice president of merchandising and marketing at Borders said it will be competitive on price. "We probably won’t be the lowest price consistently out there, but we really believe that the customer comes to us for a broader experience than just our price and it’s just up to us to make sure we deliver on that promise."

The company says it will allow its 23.5 million customers enrolled in its "Borders Rewards" program earn rewards for shopping online on the new site. Borders also may offer MP3 music downloads. Currently it is testing "mix and burn," where customers can come into its stores and create their own CDs.

"We know that the customer is downloading music," Gruen said. "We’re looking at how do we incorporate that into the whole process."