Book Superstores Take Cue from Supermarkets

Apr 09, 2002

Borders Group Inc. expects to unveil the first steps in a strategy that will eventually transform how it does business with publishers and customers by June, reports the Book Publishing Report on Its new category management strategy calls for a comprehensive analysis of hundreds of book categories and a detailed plan for dealing with each category. Those plans will influence everything from what Borders decides to stock to how it arranges its display tables.

Publishers are already calling the approach radical, not just for Borders, but for the industry as a whole, which has traditionally treated the selling of books as more art than science.

Category management became a top priority at Borders in 1999, when Greg Josefowicz was brought in as president and chief executive officer. Josefowicz, who in January became the chain’s chairman, came to Borders from food and drug retailer Jewel-Osco.

Instead of relying on book industry experts, Borders has brought in a consulting firm to help with its project. The Partnering Group was co-founded by Brian Harris, who is sometimes referred to as the “father of category management.”

Moderator Comment: What will Border’s need to do to
get the full benefit of category management?

Border’s has already called The Partnering Group. They
can find more help by emailing the RetailWire Brain Trust today. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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