Borders and T-Mobile to put hot spots in 400 stores by early 2003: T-Mobile and Borders Books announced today that T-Mobile would create hot spots in 400 Borders store by early next year. This begs several questions: Starbucks is the exclusive national partner for cafes for Barnes and Noble — did B and N blink?; do we really need a hot spot in tiny cafes with small tables attached to a bookstore? (that begs a lot of questions); and, why can't Borders and T-Mobile actually post a press release on their respective sites when at least two media outlets have the information? Alan Reiter beats me to the link, once again, and offers a variety of analysis on the topic.
And you have to ask: has Borders really thought this through? In an article last year in the New York Times, David Kirkpatrick exposed a startling fact, that most of the big box chain bookstores had quietly and substantially reduced the number of books they offer at less than full list price. The perception of discount was much higher than the reality. With Internet access at a Borders store, I could see how much cheaper it would be to buy the books I want from Borders online or Amazon.com. Better still, one could use a book price comparison engine (like mine) to find out how much a used copy from Half.com, Powell's, or ABEBooks.com would cost. Hopefully, Borders can track Internet usage vs. same-store sales. [80211b News]