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Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest bookseller, is credited for having pioneered the concept of a book superstore. The company statted in the early 1900’s when Charles M. Barnes and G. Clifford Noble joined together to combined a large inventory selection of books, music, DVD’s and magazines with cafes and casual ambiance to create its superstores. The company also was the first bookseller in the United States to offer discounts over the publishers’ list prices on books.

During its growth and expansion, Barnes & Noble acquired other businesses, including Marboro books, which gave Bares & Noble a place in the growing mail-order business and also allowed the company to reach customers nationwide. The mail-order business, in turn, demonstrated a need for the company’s next business venture, to begin publishing primarily out-of-print books for its growing mail-order business. Barnes ; Noble began expansion into Borders / Waldenbooks There are over 400 Borders’ bookstores in the United States. The company’s headquarters is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Borders is a fortune 500 company with over three billion dollars in annual sales (www. bordersgroup. com). The original store was called Walden but, in 1971, Tom and Lus Border started a small used bookstore that joined with Walden Books. Borders has since teamed with Amazon. com to enhance the online shopping. Most of Borders’ supply chain changes have been a result of the company’s collaborations with Amazon and Walden. The business has been extremely successful in part due to its revolutionary inventory system that tailored each store’s selection to the community it serves.

The business quickly learned that e-commerce does not necessarily mean only a transaction on an online shopping cart. Problems develop that have to be resolved early. The infrastructure has to be adequate to support the new advertising, browsers and shopping carts. The supply chain has to be prepared to support the seasonal volume. The websites of traditional brick and mortar stores must provide a consistent user experience all the way through the site. The credit card page, the shopping cart view, as well as the search tools must be consistent and adequate.

Borders online store is a multi-channel retailer with brick and mortar stores in malls around town. Having the ability to manage and market both brick and mortar stores and a website has been very rewarding for Borders. The online retailer makes a larger profit from the sale of each book than the ground retailers, which allows the company to spend more money on improving supply chain processes. The new environment ties all the processes together so that the customer is not isolated in the supply process.

Borders stores have improved the lead-time to replenish inventory, so that they avoid losing customers. The organization has implemented centralized controls that has helped to improve the overall supply process. Throughout time, things change, some more rapidly than others, but regardless of the pace that things change, it all seems to be of some sort of benefit in the end. From the beginnings of a business to the consistent change and upgrade to keep in track with the competition.

In order to stay in the game, the goal is two things, and that is to always keep the customer happy and to keep ahead of the next best thing. From the first bookstore on the street corner to now, multiple retailers, to the internet, bookstores have come along way. The supply chain works with similarity in the “real world” and “cyberspace”. Continuously upgrading, offering more services and being focused on the customer and giving the utmost attention to the needs and wants of the people is how the business will continue to maintain their popularity.

More and more people want the “convenience” of Online, whereas some prefer the person to person interaction in which the cycles must keep in pace with both lines. So, thus the supply chain interacts with both personal interaction to the convenience junkie. Both offer products and services that meet and also exceed the expectations of the customer, even though the online servicing offers some different products than the bookstore, the needs are measured in both segments, assessed and then distributed.


About Borders Group, (2005). Retrieved on February 3, 2005 from World Wide Web:

Barnes & Noble History, (2005). Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Retrieved on February 8, 2005 from the World Wide Web:

Barnes & Noble Booksellers, (2005). Our Mission. Retrieved on February 8, 2005 from the World Wide Web:

Borders Stores, (2005). Customer Care. Retrieved on February 1, 2005 from the World Wide Web:

The Online Book Store, (2005). Discover the Knowledge you Desire at the Online Book Store. Retrieved on February 2, 2005 from the World Wide Web:

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