Borders and HarperStudio Agree to No Returns
Borders Group Inc. has agreed to accept books from HarperStudio—the HarperCollins imprint started by former Hyperion Books publisher Robert S. Miller—on a nonreturnable basis, according to The Wall Street Journal. When Miller, who serves as HarperStudio's president and publisher, joined HarperCollins in the spring to develop the new publishing group, one of the goals of the group was to eliminate the practice of allowing book-sellers to return unsold copies of books.
Under the terms of the deal, Borders will receive a greater discount on initial orders of books published by HarperStudio—58 percent to 63 percent off the cover price instead of the usual 48 percent—in exchange for not returning any unsold books to the publisher.
"The idea of taking inventory and then shipping it back isn't a good idea for anybody. We're open to all publishers to discuss alternatives to the traditional return model," says Robert Gruen, Borders' executive vice president of merchandising and marketing.
"Returns have never made sense in our business, and with the recent economic downturn, publishers and book-sellers are more open than before to experimenting with models that might decrease waste and increase profit," says Miller.