Though he mentioned the problems posed by e-readers and Amazon in his initial statements on the impending closure of Borderlands Books, owner Alan Beatts would now like everyone to know that the real culprit is the increasing minimum wage. With $15 an hour due to each employee (by 2018), the Mission's science fiction-, fantasy-, mystery-, and horror-focused store says it can't survive.
"Let me put to bed this whole it's Amazon, bookselling-is-not-viable story," he reportedly said. "I am closing because of the minimum wage law. It's not our rent, it's not Amazon. It's not the way San Francisco is changing."
As a data point, I never once shopped there, because I've been buying all of my books online since before they opened in 1997, when bookstores were already a nonviable business.
I had a drink at the cafe once, though. It was fine.
Businesses fail when operating costs outstrip income, period. Cherry-picking a proximate cause of increased costs as the reason just demonstrates what political bone you have to pick, not the actual economics of the situation.
It's like those jackass restaurants whose reaction to having to pay healthcare for their employees was to passive-aggressively break that out on the bill as its own line item (and then just pocketed the money anyway). To their credit, though, these places also all itemized out "transportation costs" when gas hit $4.50/gallon, and reduced their prices when gas got cheaper again. Oh wait, that didn't actually happen.