I guess one shouldn't be shocked to learn that Borders is more about the latte and the chitchat than the books. After all, I once bought my wife a miniature spice garden from there. But when the TV becomes part of the bookstore? That's going a little too far. If ever I'm in there and a Madonna video comes on, that's it for me and Borders. The NY Times has more:
A new strategy at Borders will reinforce the message that its stores are not just about books: the company has been installing 37-inch flat-screen televisions to show original programming, advertisements, news and weather.
George L. Jones, the chief executive of the Borders Group, said each store would have two screens. The broadcast service, called Borders TV, has arrived in nearly 60 stores and is scheduled to reach an additional 250 stores by the end of February.
The screens are “not designed to be intrusive,” Mr. Jones said. Rather, he said, they are “part of a master plan to create content that will do several things for us,” like directing traffic to the Borders Web site and paving the way to more cross-promotional deals with large media companies.
Will literary-minded customers bristle at the intrusion, or will the screens be welcomed as fun? Mr. Jones has a firm opinion: at Borders, “you browse, buy a latte, read a magazine. It’s entertaining.” The televisions are “another way that we can bring knowledge and entertainment,” he said.
If you really want to know how Borders and Mr. "Don't Forget the L" Jones think about you, the customer. Well, they think we're smart rubes:
Mr. Jones said Borders customers tend to be “highly educated, more affluent” and spend an average of an hour in the store, making them catnip to many advertisers. “It’s becoming more and more difficult to reach people,” Mr. Jones said. “Newspapers are not as effective as they used to be. Television is not as easily reachable as it used to be. This becomes an attractive option.”