The paper "Border Books: Business Environment and Marketing Strategy" is an outstanding example of a case study on marketing. Border Books, a retail book chain in the United Kingdom, came into existence in 1988 when the US-based chain took over Books Etc. and opened its first store in the country. The company also owns the e-commerce website Borders. com and US subsidiaries, Borders Group Inc. , include Borders Inc. , Walden Book Company (which has 885 mall-based bookstores) (Modi et al. , 2000). At present, the company, with 42 Border Books stores and 28 Books Etc. , is the third-largest bookseller in the United Kingdom, with an 8 percent market share, revenues of GBP 223 million and profits of GBP 2 million.
Recently Luke Johnson, owner of the Pizza Express retail chain, bought Border Books in the UK (Smith). The US-based group sold out its UK operations, deciding to concentrate on its domestic US market, facing intense competition from supermarkets and online retailers and posting a loss of GBP 50 million last year (Teather, 2007). In this paper, I will analyze the business environment of Border Books in the United Kingdom and its marketing strategy, including the segmentation, targeting and positioning possibilities. Business Environment The book market in the United Kingdom is the largest in Europe and growing faster than those in France and Germany.
The retail book market in the UK was estimated at GBP 4.11mn in 2005, a 3.5 percent growth over the previous year. About two-thirds of the sales are accounted for by consumer sales while the remaining is accounted for by academic, professional and sales books. The leading booksellers in the UK are WH Smith, Waterstone's, Amazon. co. uk.
Borders, Ottakar's and Book Club Associates. Amazon. co. uk (researchandmarkets. com). In the UK, publishers produce about 12,000 titles a year and about 30 to 40 percent of the people ever buy a book (Smith). The book market is increasingly becoming competitive, with the brick and mortar independent and chain book stores are facing competition from online stores and supermarket stores. Globally, the book market is in a matured stage of the business cycle. In the 1970s and 1980s, the book market was in an upswing, with new stores opening to serve increasingly new segments of the market, new authors and publishers coming into the market every year.
By the 1990s, the industry reached a matured stage, with the market getting saturated and the evolution slowing down. The demand for books too began to slow down. It has been found that with faster economic growth, growth in book sales slows down. Typically in good times, the more prosperous groups of consumers slow down book purchases as spending on more luxury items increases (Modi et al. , 2000). PEST (tutor2) analysis, that is studying the political/legal, economic, social and technological environment, is concerned with analyzing the business environment that a company faces.