Borders Goes Bust, Ctd

Enhanced-buzz-h

A reader writes:

These arguments regarding sales taxes as the lynchpin of Border's demise seem preposterous to me. A 3000-square-foot store in a high traffic location can command significant rents. It also has to be well lit, filled with attractive furniture and displays, staffed at all times, airconditioned in the summer, heated in the winter, etc. These are very expensive stores to operate and represent expenses at a scale that Amazon simply does not have. It is completely true that the tax burden is a factor, but it pales in comparison to the cost of running a pick-and-pack warehouse operation versus a chain of expensive, brick-and-mortar retail storefronts. This to me is simply a prime example of the promise and peril of the e-commerce juggernaut.

Another also doesn't buy the tax argument:

Shipping costs offset not having to pay sales tax.  In most cases, especially with books, shipping probably costs more than sales tax.  The response here will probably be "Free Super Saver Shipping" or "Amazon Prime" … but there are serious drawbacks to both.  

Visual Consumption

Nicole Allen marvels at the dark side of food porn:

"[G]ross food," as Gourmet.com termed it, or "grotesque food," as I prefer, has taken hold strongly and suddenly. When thisiswhyyourefat.com, the Tumblr blog that is home to the Fat Bitch, launched in February, it went from zero to 2 million pageviews in 48 hours. Supersizedmeals.com also took off, and today the fried butter ball or deep-fried cupcake on a stick can be found on your average food, gossip, or city blog.