Borders CEO Ron Marshall told attendees at the World Retail Congress in Barcelona that “It may be many, many years before we regain the spending levels we enjoyed just last year,” according to Reuters. “Our view increasingly is that in certain discretionary categories the total market has shifted down—depending on the category, by between 15 and 25 percent.”
Marshall was brought in earlier this year and began cutting inventory and shortening order cycles, a painful process for publishers but probably the right thing to do in this environment (see “Borders Reprioritizes”). If he’s overly pessimistic, a smaller Borders can easily ramp up to accommodate stronger sales. But given Borders’ debt situation, it can ill afford to plan for revenues that don’t come.