After reporting fourth quarter and full year losses, Borders Group announced a number of changes to its business for 2007, including plans to close over 250 Waldenbooks stores, reducing the size of the chain from over 560 stores to around 300. Other changes include ending its deal with Amazon and opening its own online store, selling off its non-U.S. Borders stores, building its proprietary publishing program (as Barnes & Noble has been doing for some time), cutting inventory, and expanding its in-store digital business. Borders is also retooling its superstore concept, and plans to introduce a new design for its stores in 2008.
Same store sales were down in both its 499-store Borders (2.2%) and Waldenbooks (7.5%) chains.
Barnes & Noble also reported on Thursday, and although unlike BGI it was profitable, its same store sales were also down. Same store sales in Barnes & Noble superstores were down .3%, and sales in B. Dalton stores were down 6.1%. Barnes & Noble is much further along at getting rid of mall stores and focusing on superstores; it operates 695 Barnes & Noble stores and only 98 B. Dalton stores.
Barnes & Noble recently lowered its forecast for future earnings, citing margin pressures. Borders is not forecasting future results.