Borders didn’t go out of business because of ebooks.   There are plenty of bookstores around, which don’t sell ebooks, and for the most part, they’re all going fine, i.e. Half Price Books and Murder by the Book.  Ebooks and ereaders weren’t the Borders killer.


Borders went out of business because of coffee.  Seriously.  All it was, was the Starbucks factor.  And even though Seattle’s Best is basically the same thing as Starbucks, people are so brand conscious these days that they wouldn’t settle for anything less than the Starbucks Mermaid.


Half Price Books and Murder by the Book are still going strong because they don’t pretend to be coffee-mongers or have seating areas with free WiFi.  They just sell books, and only give you small aisles in which to do it.


Had Borders cultivated a hipper image for Seattle’s Best, instead ignoring the branding of the coffee, it would have had a serious fighting chance.  It’s pretty damn good coffee, after all.