§ National bookstore chain Borders is getting shakier and shakier, and yesterday’s news that CEO Ron Marshall was ankling the joint did nothing to cheer anyone up.
Borders, which has been under a cloud of speculation about its long-term financial stability, has struggled to improve sales in a difficult market for book retailing. It has posted disappointing results amid price pressure from big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and competition from online booksellers like Amazon.
The company announced that sales fell nearly 14 percent over the 11-week holiday period ended Jan. 16, compared with the period a year earlier. By comparison, Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest bookstore chain, said that holiday sales fell 5 percent during a nine-week period ended Jan. 2.
§ Financially troubled printing giant World Color Press has found a buyer, ICv2 reports.
Wisconsin-based Quad Graphics has acquired World Color Press, the Canadian corporation formerly known as Quebecor that is responsible for printing the majority of comics in North America along with magazines like Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone. World Color Press stockholders will receive 40% of the combined company, which will be listed on a U.S. stock exchange (Quad Graphics is currently privately held). Under the deal, which is expected to close this summer, the combined company, which will have 30,000 employees, will be #2 in the industry behind R.R. Donnelley & Sons.
§ Manga publisher Go! Comi . which produced such things as Wendy Pini’s Masque of the Red Death, and Aimee Major’s Japan Ai is having some tough times.
Go! Comi is riding out a pretty tough storm in the publishing industry right now due to a combination of economic downturn and digital theft, both of which have had a devastating effect on even the biggest publishing companies. A lot of small-to-medium publishers (we fit into medium, at this point) have had to scale back their operations, let employees go, double up workloads, and put many of their books on hiatus or cancel them entirely. It would not be unreasonable to assume Go! has had to do some of these things itself, though I can’t get into specifics there. :-X
§ Old news but worth noting: Platinum Studios has secured another $5 million in capital — holding on for the movies finally paid off.
Awareness for Platinum Studios’ properties has increased significantly over the past year due in part to the upcoming film “Dead of Night,” an adaptation of the beloved Italian comic book “Dylan Dog,” which has sold over 56 million copies worldwide. In a poll conducted in December 2009 by MTV.com, “Dead of Night” ranked fifth amongst all comic book movies audiences were anticipating for 2010. The results came unexpectedly to MTV.com since the film was accidentally left off the list of nominees and all votes for the picture were write-in votes.