Self fulfilling prophecy … probably made famous by My Fair Lady, one of the most celebrated musicals of all time. We came to the point in the musical where Professor Higgins begins the transformation of Eliza Doolittle from a coarse little peddler of flowers to a sophisticated lady. We cheered when we saw Eliza rise to a level no one thought she could attain. Except maybe Higgins. The positive affirmation and untiring efforts of the good professor paid off in a self-fulfilling prophecy goes from a dream to reality.
But the self fulfilling prophecy works not only in the positive but also in the negative. Phrases like "you'll never amount to anything" or "just a stupid kid" have scarred more than one young person in our lifetime. But back to books and Chapter 11.
It was 15 years ago when Chapter 11 booksellers came on the scene. It was a discount bookstore that used a catchy slogan for advertising. "Prices so low, you'd think we were going bankrupt." Not a bad slogan for a store with the name of Chapter 11.
The stores were well known for offering primarily budget-priced books. Numerous stores popped up around the state of Georgia, especially near the corporate offices in Atlanta. Now it seems as though the stores are being closed as part of a reorganization effort to keep the company afloat.
In a time when one of the major selling points in commerce is low price, you would think that a store like Chapter 11 would be going gangbusters. But a change in the way of doing business may have affected the fact that they are filing bankruptcy. They have set the bargain prices aside and brought in big name authors to promote their new books. Maybe they would have been better off to focus on the bargain-prices and let Barnes and Noble do the fancy promotions. The change in direction may have cost the owners the entire company. Or was it a matter of the self-fulfilling prophecy?
At the beginning they could have checked in with Professor Higgins to find a more appropriate slogan. But because they didn't call him, their new slogan could be "Prices so low, because we are going bankrupt." If they could only get Eliza Doolittle out of the flower business and into books they might have a chance.