Borders announced that it would be ending its alliance with Amazon.com and would run its own online bookstore starting early next year. Prior to 2001, Borders ran its own online presence, but since it could not turn a profit, they sought a partnership with Amazon. Now, the landscape has changed. Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers no longer see their online divisions as separate renegade entities. Online stores now play an important part of a larger, multi-channel strategy, and customers benefit from such services as in-store pickup at the physical store counterparts. Borders is doubling down on its new online focus, as it also announced that it would be closing of almost half of its Waldenbooks stores over the next two years. Though the loss of Borders could cost Amazon some revenue, Amazon isn't really losing sleep over it. Amazon hasn't really done much to address the changing needs of its multi-channel retail partners. Perhaps the ugly divorce that they went through with Toys 'R Us left them with a bitter taste when dealing with big brick-and-mortar retailers. Instead, Amazon is betting on "me"-centric web 2.0 user-generated e-commerce by building out Amazon Web Services, which means that anyone can add Amazon's capabilities to whatever they're doing. When Borders launches next year, they will probably have their sights on Amazon, and they may actually build themselves a fine online bookstore. However, the game has changed. Selling the most books, is not about being the best bookstore anymore. It's more about enabling consumers with the tools to do anything they want, which would then, in turn, sell the most books.
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