Bookstores adapt to digital changes


Bookstores, from independent companies like Powell’s to huge chains like Borders, are having to rethink their business models because of the digital revolution.

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Bookstores, from independent companies like Powell’s to huge chains like Borders, are having to rethink their business models because of the digital revolution.

The changing nature of the book industry forced Powell’s to layoff 31 workers, and Borders to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“The Powell’s model that has been so successful is really being challenged by new competitors, new technology and new shopping habits,” said Tom Gillpatrick, a retail marketing professor at Portland State University.

Digital readers are rewriting the future bookstores had imagined for themselves. Along with cheaper prices for new titles, handheld readers offer convenience, more room on home bookshelves and an experience that some readers prefer over actual pages.

At a recent conference of the nation’s top book publishing houses, consensus was that within the next five years e-book sales will make up 50 percent of all books sales — an $11.7 billion market in 2010.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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