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  1.  (10043.41)
    If the big chains only appeal to the lowest common denominator then why are the stores so big?

    Because the lowest common denominator is the biggest. That's maths. They teach it in schools and everything.
  2.  (10043.42)

    If I am able to reopen our tiny bookstore, it will still have a HUGE Romance section. Why? Because it's what pays the bills, it's what sells, because it's what people want. I'm not saying Romance is for the lowest common denominator, it's just an example of a section I don't often personally read. The thing is, I have MANY wonderful customers who come in on a regular basis to buy Romance novels. While it would be fantastic to have a book store full of just the books WE love and want to share with everyone, not only would I feel it's unfair to many of my customers, but not everyone is going to come in looking for what WE like. If having section after section of books some people would consider "lesser" means we can afford to ALSO stock the books we want to introduce people to, then that's what we'll do.

    Anyway, things are moving simultaneously too quickly and too slowly for me. Our liquidation sale is in full swing, and the mall leasing agent is fully on board with our plans, but i still need to secure the loans. Meanwhile, being in the store, with all it's liquidation signage and hordes of vultures, is wearing us all down. It's a daily struggle not to snap at people who are insensitive to the fact that my colleagues and I have all just been informed we are losing our jobs. Not only losing our jobs, but losing a job we love. Their behavior leaves one wondering what ever happened to that so-called human decency.
  3.  (10043.43)
    Well, now there's a choice to be made.

    I have met with someone who owns several small toy stores not far from here and is interested in opening a small bookstore. He expressed an interest in reopening our store, with a few changes, but keeping the staff. This would relieve me of the financial and legal burdens of trying to reopen the store myself, but it would still not be my store. There would be a much larger focus on toys and, while he says I would have a lot of freedom to run things my way, he would call all the big shots.

    I am trying to weigh the safety and security of letting someone else own the store against the opportunity to own it and run it the way we want, without anyone else telling us what to do. It's almost like going right back to what we had with Borders, but on a smaller scale. I know that things could be much better, since we would not have many levels of hierarchy above us, but I also know there are many things we'd like to do that we may not be able to.

    I'm probably being silly and should just choose the safe bet, but part of me keeps playing out the "What if"s in my mind...
  4.  (10043.44)
    Is it possible to buy the store from him eventually? (I have no idea how any of this stuff works)
  5.  (10043.45)
    From what you described it seems like most of your retail management experience is running a money-losing bookstore that was part of very badly-managed chain. So if you do go into business with total control, you don't necessarily have the knowledge to make the right decisions. Your potential angel investor actually knows how to run profitable businesses in your area. So while you will not gain any autonomy, neither will you lose any, and the person you will be working for will probably be a better boss than your managers at Border's. So the situation is not perfect, but it's probably better than the one you were in before, and certainly better than taking on all the risk and responsibility by yourself.
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2011
    I think he made the point upthread that his store, while a Borders, was making a profit in it's location. So he was not managing a money losing store.