In 18 years of business, Borderlands has faced a number of challenges. The first and clearest was in 2000, when our landlord increased our rent by 100% and we had to move to our current location on Valencia Street. All of the subsequent ones have been less clear-cut but more difficult. The steady movement towards online shopping, mostly with Amazon, has taken a steady toll on bookstores throughout the world and Borderlands was no exception. After that and related to it, has been the shift towards ebooks and electronic reading devices. And finally the Great Recession of 2009 hit us very hard, especially since we had just opened a new aspect to the business in the form of our cafe.But every camel has one straw too many;
But, through all those challenges, we've managed to find a way forward and 2014 was the best year we've ever had.
In November, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that will increase the minimum wage within the city to $15 per hour by 2018. Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principal and we believe that it's possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco -- Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage. Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st.They did the math;
The change in minimum wage will mean our payroll will increase roughly 39%. That increase will in turn bring up our total operating expenses by 18%. To make up for that expense, we would need to increase our sales by a minimum of 20%. We do not believe that is a realistic possibility for a bookstore in San Francisco at this time.The problems of a few little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy San Francisco.