retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Excellent piece from Bloomberg about the imminent demise of Borders, with the following anecdote used to frame the story:

“Borders Group Inc.’s almost certain liquidation may have begun with a toast a decade ago celebrating its decision to pay Amazon.com Inc. to run its website.

“At an August, 2001, party near Borders’ headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, then Chief Executive Officer Gregory Josefowicz brandished a bottle of Champagne and said Amazon founder Jeffrey Bezos had sent a case to show his gratitude.

“‘I remember thinking this is the weirdest thing that we’re drinking Champagne bought by Jeff Bezos, and it was the last thing we wanted to do,’ Manish Vyas, who was then a manager at Borders’ online unit, said in a telephone interview this week. ‘It ended up being a customer-harvesting vehicle for Amazon’.”
KC's View:
This is sort of the retail version of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. And I wonder how many retailers act in a complacent manner even as new and aggressive competitors are positioning themselves to destroy them.