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It Isn't Just Catholic Stores Having a Hard Time

Borders, the nation's second-largest bookseller, said Thursday it may put itself up for sale and has lined up $42.5 million in financing to help the chain continue operations.

Shares tumbled more than 17 percent, or $1.23, to $5.87 at the open of trade.

Borders has lost market share both to online companies and to discounters like Wal-Mart Stores  Inc.


As Catholic retailers we have to always keep in mind that running a business like a business is not an option in our market, any more than it is an option in the “real” world of business outside the religious sphere.

It is especially important to note that the reasons for the problems at Borders are not confined to that chain. Online competition will take a heavy toll on any store that doesn't have a web presence. Our niche is both a curse and a blessing. As a group we run our businesses so poorly that there isn't enough of a market for places like Walmart to get interested in selling Catholic stuff. On the other hand, our niche is run so poorly that there are very few healthy players in the industry.

I was reading a Christian Retailing trade journal a few months ago and there was an article about large, long-standing stores closing and they cited the same reasons as Borders for the closures.

As a business owner you have got to adapt to the changing retail environment around you or you WILL close. Adaptation doesn't just give you a competitive edge,  it keeps you alive.


  1. Bravo!!

    Definitely worth reading the full text.

  2. This is ironic! I just started last week reading this aloud to Bella when I’m up at night
    (And then reading through these insightful questions during the day).

  3. Becka…
    That’s not ironic, learn to English please.

  4. Learn to English? Is that a new kind of dance I’ve missed? You darn kids and your gyrating.

  5. Actually, what’s ironic is that while trying to comment on her use of English, your grammatical mistake made you seem like the one who needs to learn how to USE english. Kaaaching!

  6. I am currently reading Paradist Lost and have found the language to be powerful and provocative, enough so that I’ve started a series of paintings and sketchings about the epic poem.

  7. GREAT!!!!!!!!

  8. A strange notion to consider anyone being ‘troubled’ by a book’s endorsement by an atheist. Paradise Lost can be read in so many ways, many of them contradictory and many doubtless not being intended by Milton. That’s the main reason it’s my favourite.

  9. Just finished reading Paradise Lost. Not a word of the entire poem was wasted. It really made me think about things like free will, marriage, demons and angels… And all sorts of good stuff!
    It was truly beautiful and well worth the time it takes to get through the entire thing. Forget about excerpts, just PICK UP THE BOOK AND DO IT!!!! 😉

  10. Book 9, line 255 has the phrase, about Satan – “seeks to work us woe.”

    This is used in the third line, first verse, of the Hedge translation (1853) of “A Mighty Fortress”: “For still our ancient foe, Doth seek to work us woe.”

  11. What was the famous quote by John Milton, concerning the unconscious of the abnormal life styles vs. normal Godly life styles, such as: God’s order of Man and Woman, who are ordained by God to be married and raises children conscious of right and wrong character, lived within the boundaries and character, that God instructs, as opposed to abnormal life styles lived without boundaries?

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