Borders is to test a service offering 1,500 software titles, while holding no stock, using a system that creates the appropriate disc at the point of sale.

It has just signed a deal with Tribeka to offer CD and DVD software on demand from publishers including the BBC, Dorling Kindersley, McAfee, Sage and Britannica.

The trial will take place in the retailer’s Oxford Street store, with a dedicated area where customers can browse titles via either an online or paper catalogue. Plasma screens will show demonstrations of how the system works.

Once customers have made their choice and purchased a product, Tribeka’s SoftWide system obtains authorisation from its control centre automatically to start an onsite replication of the product. The software is pressed to disc, with the entire process – including the printing of a user manual and colour inlay – completed in a couple of minutes.

Tribeka holds digital licensing agreements with software publishers to manufacture their software to factory standards on-demand and on-site.

Aside from eliminating stock holdings, other advantages of the system are that the latest versions are always available, there are no distribution delays and the distribution costs are minimal.

Borders commercial director David Kohn said: “Borders is excited to be associated with this initiative. As well as CD-Rom and DVD-Rom, the technology is designed to work with standard CD and DVD formats.

“We believe it could transform radically both the experience and the economics of retailing entertainment product in-store. We are already working with publishers on how we can extend the offer to include spoken word and believe there is a great opportunity to breathe life back into this market.”