End of an era: Borders to liquidate

Well, it’s official: The death of retail book chain Borders is upon us. Store liquidations could be coming as soon as the end of the week.

Borders hasn’t been my favorite bookstore in a long time, but, being in Michigan, it was the most prevalent. And as someone who still likes to read and buy actual books, this is a blow.

Yes, we have ebooks now, and Amazon, and blah blah blah. We’ll be fine, and the books aren’t going to go away entirely, no matter how loudly the digital evangelists are shouting. This is still sad, because what really doomed Borders was a long chain of bad business decisions – and now 10,700 people are going to lose their jobs because of it.

8 thoughts on “End of an era: Borders to liquidate

  1. Mark 'Lightsabre' Newbold

    That is a shame, I visit Vegas semi-regularly and there’s a Borders down at the fashion Show Mall which I often checked out.
    Same happening here in the UK though, books shops are falling hard in the face of online and ebook competition.

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  2. Rich

    This is indeed a great shame.
    Borders was my favourite (at least, the short-lived brand new store that opened in the Chapelfield mall in my local city of Norwich, England was – the other couple I managed to visit – London and Cambridge – seemed a bit dated and dingy by comparison).
    I know the UK stores hadn’t been directly operated by the USA company for some time, but my local store used to have that quintessentially American style of top quality customer service that you find in other stores like Apple and Starbucks.
    It was a wonderful place to lose yourself amongst books, and it had a kick-ass science fiction/fantasy/graphic novel section, excellent classics department as well as great travel, cookery, history, computing and children’s areas.
    It always felt like you got to see a more varied choice of works than you do in Waterstones, where it seems very much as though someone else is deciding what you can and can’t read.
    It was sad to see it go, and it was a great loss to leave the UK with one less real bookshop chain, ceding more of the market to the supermarkets who sell trash and charting titles only.

    I had always hoped that the original US company would ride back into town one day across England…

    This situation could really use a Master Yoda-style “no, there is another…” moment right now!

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  3. Nancy

    *sigh*

    The NPR report on the radio this morning was all about the digital evangelists and that eventually bookstores will resemble that which is found in airports. Ugh.

    Our local independent, Schuler Books, is still going strong, so far as I know. They have five locations in Lansing and Grand Rapids. Perhaps they’ll expand into eastern MI now.

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  4. Dunc Post author

    The only independents I know down here are used bookstores and the handful in Ann Arbor (Though I think all but Nicola’s went out of business already? Argh. Dearborn used to have a Little Professor, but that’s long gone and it was too close to the B&N anyway.) I hope we do see some independents come in – at least to the smaller Borders Express’. I can deal with losing our crappy mall Borders, but the old Waldenbooks deserves to live.

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  5. Sean

    I refuse to accept a paperless world. I don’t trust the constantly changing world of computer technology to preserve our words.

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  6. Will

    You guys are lucky. I live in St. Louis and they closed 7 out of the 9 stores in the metro area over 2 months ago. I’ve had to wait until Amazon can deliver the books I order. And here most of the ma & pa stores actually only sell used books so your pretty limited. We’re even down to one Walden’s Book now.

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  7. Dunc Post author

    Waldenbooks is owned by Borders – I thought they converted most of them into Borders Express’ by now? In any case, that’ll probably be gone now, too… But I think those smaller stores are in the best positions to be acquired by or reopened as indies – assuming they’re not saddled with crazy-high rents.

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  8. MattDoc

    When I was living in Australia, they put a brand new 2-story Borders in the local mall. I rarely bought anything because book prices in Oz are ridic. The store closed less than 2 years after it opened.

    Reply

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