View Full Version : Borders is Closing

2-14-11, 8:19pm
I heard Borders is closing many of its stores. What have people heard? Google searching doesn't turn up much of value and I can't find anything on the Borders website.

I thought I would post it in case, like us, you are holding on to gift cards you may want to use up.

2-14-11, 8:47pm
They have not worked out what stores will close just that Chapter 11 allows them to re-organise and break leases they are in. They will be bought by someone. One estimate I read was for 300 stores to be closed above the 500 already planned or done but if Landlords will deal on lease costs that number may change. B&N is going through the same process but they did not have the cash crunch to have to do it through Chapter 11. I think if you are in medium market and have both a B&N and a Borders odds are that Borders will close.

2-14-11, 8:52pm
Wow. I remember being upset that Borders and B&N put the small bookseller out of business, but now it's sad that it's probably e-books that are killing the only bookstores we have now.

When I got my Kindle (yes, guilty as charged), I remember going to B&N simply to browse the books so I could decide on what books to download. I remember thinking, OK, this is NOT a sustainable business model--being window dressing for electronic books. Plus, with the music industry being digital, our B&N's are closing down their music/DVD sections. They're now toys and games.

I'm afraid there's not much of a future for traditional book stores. Even if people want books, they're easier to get online.

2-14-11, 9:25pm
Yes, I think most bookstores, especially in small markets will continue to have trouble. Very sad.

I'll admit to prefering the library and never have bought many books, but if bookstores themselves are in jeopardy, what about authors and publishers? What about libraries? Will there be enough money coming in to support the very writing of books?

One of the news folks did mention if you have a gift card for Borders, you might want to use it soon.

The Storyteller
2-14-11, 10:29pm
Amazon is the culprit.

Or should I say, the Devil?

2-14-11, 11:19pm
It seems like an inevitable fact in the capitalist marketplace. After all, how many people went to the Simple Living Network, read about a book they needed then bought it on amazon for less then Dave Wampler could charge, thus driving him out of business. It's very easy today to shop a "bricks and mortar" store to look at stuff and then buy from someone who can offer cheaper pricing because they don't have the expense of a storefront. My father bought his last two new cars that way, test driving at a dealer and then buying from a broker who got him a better deal, no haggling required.

The book publishing industry has lots of waste. Millions of books get printed every year and never sold, and have to be recycled. The music industry has gone through this and fought the change to digital sales tooth and nail. However, new music still gets out. I love listening to pandora. I hear tons of stuff I'd never hear on the radio, and the things I like I buy from iTunes. Books will likely follow the same path. A much wider variety will get published since the cost to e-publish is negligible. People will find what they want and buy it in e format.

Personally I get most books from the library. Currently I get them in printed format. Once the library starts purchasing a lot of books in e-format and can check them out to a kindle (or other e-reader) I'll buy one for that purpose. Years ago I read about how a lot of libraries were purchasing iPod nanos to use for books on tape. They found it was cheaper to check out a nano with a book on tape then it was to buy the book on cd and check that out.

2-15-11, 11:35am
It's possible mom and pop bookstores may come back filling in the hole left by collapsing big box book stores.

From a consumption viewpoint, I think the conversion to digital is a good thing - on other levels it is not.

2-15-11, 2:51pm
Most Borders in the UK closed about a year ago. I wasn't that bothered - I prefer our local, smaller bookshops and UK based chains like Waterstones.
Sadly, many of our own, smaller chains, like Ottakars (taken over by Waterstones) and W H Smith are looking desperate - due in main to Amazon.

2-15-11, 2:52pm
From a consumption viewpoint, I think the conversion to digital is a good thing - on other levels it is not.

Is it really though? So let's compare it to buying books. Sure there's all those books you don't buy, all those trees that aren't cut down. HOWEVER, books are ultimately just paper, they'll biodegrade if allowed to, now the inks might be toxic (but they don't have to be).

Electronics are highly toxic, those electronic parts are supposed to be disposed of as electronic waste because they'll contaminate the groundwater (I'm thinking they're probably worse than any ink, they don't ask us to dispose of books as toxic waste afterall!). The components for electronics aren't trees (theoretically although not always practically a renewable resource), they're rare mined materials.

The theory is that e-readers will last a lot of time, but electronics tend to be marketed on the planned obsolescence model. How long until it's: OMG you own a kindle from 5 years ago, how lame!! Also electronics break, and they aren't repairable (in theory they could be designed to be repairable I suppose, in reality it's planned obsolescence).

2-15-11, 3:48pm
I used to like to hang out in Borders and flip through the foreign magazines or wait for friends, since it was open later than anywhere else (Borders went into administration here in November 2009, I think). However, I can't remember the last time I actually bought something there... even though the place always looked busy, I think a lot of people were just loitering like me!

2-15-11, 8:03pm
I shop there to look for books I want to buy used -- as their prices are too high for me. I do buy my over priced Moleskine notebooks there!

2-15-11, 11:25pm
How long until it's: OMG you own a kindle from 5 years ago, how lame!!

I'm still using a cell phone from 6 years ago. I used to think "I won't get a new one before this one dies. Surely the battery'll die soon and I can justify a new one." Recently, though, my phone has become a conversation starter because it looks positively antique. And it's still in great shape, having only been dropped a couple of times, and not used that intensively. (I hate talking on the phone.) And it still works great. My thoughts have changed to "I hope it lasts another 10 years!"

2-15-11, 11:59pm
We lost our Borders and Barnes and Noble. Have a gift card to B&N too. When dh and I were dating, that was our big date on the weekend. Probably how we got so many darned books.:~)

Then again, these days I always order from Amazon, so it's partly my own fault.

2-16-11, 12:02am
I do buy my over priced Moleskine notebooks there!

I always preferred B&N, but I remember the *original* Borders in Ann Arbor, I went to a second-tier state university the next town over. This was in the late 80s.

I buy my Moleskins on Amazon.

2-16-11, 11:18am
"Borders will close 200 of its 642 stores in the next few weeks." announced yesterday in filing Docs.

The Storyteller
2-16-11, 11:32am
I like the selection at the Borders that I visit more than the B&N. I know it's a chain, but it just feels less like one when I visit.

B&N is giving Amazon a run for its money on ebook readers, though. The Nook is probably going to eventually outpace the Kindle, simply because of its greater flexibility. I would compare the two to Kindle is the Mac of the reader world, while the Nook is more like the PC. The Mac OS was the better system from the git go, but it lacked the flexibility and the friendly pricing of the Microsoft using PC.

2-16-11, 12:21pm

They are filing for Chap. 11

2-16-11, 2:16pm
I actually prefer reading via the Kindle app on my new iPad than on my Kindle...

2-16-11, 6:29pm
It's possible mom and pop bookstores may come back filling in the hole left by collapsing big box book stores.

Locally, we have two mom and pop bookstores that specialize in used books with a few new ones thrown in. One of them is absolutely thriving.

2-16-11, 8:47pm
2 years ago a lovely, stately funeral home in New Orleans was gutted on the inside and transformed into a high tech Borders....many were against the idea of a chain bookstore in town. Today I read on nola.com that this Borders is closing.

I also have noticed at my local Borders how much smaller the magazine section has become in the past few years and how much of the space has been transformed into selling fancy wrapping paper, journals and accessories...not books and magazines. I'm glad we have a thriving independent bookstore in Austin and a good used bookstore.


2-16-11, 9:46pm
We lost our Borders and Barnes and Noble. Have a gift card to B&N too.

Can you use the gift card at barnesandnoble.com?

2-16-11, 10:48pm
A friend posted a PDF of all the stores that are going to close. I was thankful that our local store is not. We do not have any small bookstores near us and I still love to give books as gifts. It's just not the same to hand someone a gift card to download their own e-book.

2-16-11, 11:42pm
Can you use the gift card at barnesandnoble.com?

I will see...first, I have to figure out how much is left on it!

2-17-11, 1:05am
My Borders is closing. It was in the paper today. I remember the day they opened. I was so excited I was standing in line when they opened the doors. I bought the first book there. There weren't any independent bookstores in our area when they opened and there won't be now. We do have a B&N, but they came later than Borders. I was always grateful to Borders just for being here when no one else was. I did see it coming. It's been dying a slow death. I could cry.

2-17-11, 9:26am
Here's the list of stores that will close.

2-17-11, 4:18pm
Here's the list of stores that will close.

There should be a 1-800 number on the back of the card, then usually a prompt you can punch in the card number and get the balance. I've never had a B&N card but other gift cards I've had to find the balance for.

2-17-11, 5:07pm
Here's the list of stores that will close.

So glad the Burlington VT store is safe!!

2-19-11, 7:49pm
I'm sorry it's closing--the one in walking distance of our house. We have two small bookstores, but this is Santa Fe, where much is precious, brittle, self-conscious in my view, and I liked the generality of Borders, also the loiterability with books and magazines. They had a good animal section. They're now having a 20-40% off sale and are mobbed.

2-20-11, 1:16pm
Larknm - I have great memories of the Sanbusco Borders where we did a lot of DD's studying as a break from home or to give DSO a break from us. Three months a year it was our hurricane home, so while small, SF was a world of infinite options to DD after 9 months on a bit of coral. We enjoyed the live music on Fridays and in many ways it was our "Library" and Cafe. While the Hot Chocolate was better at Garcia Books and it was owned (if not still) by former Toronto Bookstore family whose Sunday crazy discount books made up much of my teen book collection... it was more a people watching place while Borders was more for insular time together.
Borders Sandusco was where after stopping at chairty sale at store by outside Borders entrance and getting DD a pair of very cool designer sunglasses for what I thought a rich $5 (later found to be great deal based upon what it would be new) and DD in her first pair of designer style jeans, new riding boots (no shopping at home so all new is when we got back to SF)... well after slipping on the glasses, looking at herself in the window... she manifests this lope stride, look at me I am cool strut, into Borders. The start of the new chapter at 11...next years hurricane home ... she wanted to be at Borders but I could not sit "with" her so obvious... then following year... dropped off to meet her friends there. :)
That and World Market a few doors down I will miss, now hurricane home will be southern CO.

2-22-11, 2:49am
The Borders I have hung out at for a number of years here in Phoenix is closing, right on the heels of the Bookstar down the street closing right after Christmas. Wow! Two stores I spent a lot of time at in between serving shifts at nearby restaurants - gone with the wind as it were. Today on the front page of the Arizona Republic was an article about how specialty retailers - like Best Buy, Border's, Blockbuster - just can not compete on price with amazon, or Wal-Mart, or Costco. Due to more and more shopping being done online, the article says in the future a lot of retail space is going to be vacant. Rob

2-22-11, 8:47am
Ah Shucks, I thought the title of this post was "The Border is Closing". I got all excited.

2-22-11, 10:31am
well, I for one am glad it isn't, as I'm up and about early, here in the desert, west of Yuma AZ, because I have a dentist appointment across that border into Mexico, in Los Algodones, B.C. Mexico.......also a rendevouz with our favorite panaderia, taco stand and several other stops........

not looking forward to the long wait to get back in the U.S. (all those retirees from the midwest U.S. down in Los Algodones for the day for inexpensive dental work, prescription drugs, doctors, lunch, etc., might be terrorists, so must be checked carefully by U.S. Customs), but at least Mexico has no such worries and just allows us to walk down the sidewalk and into Mexico completely unmolested.......

2-22-11, 6:24pm
I shop at two Borders and the one in Pasadena, CA is closing. I'm disappointed because it was the one I preferred. I'm not surprised, though, because many of the stores on South Lake Avenue are struggling and/or closing.

I'll admit to using Amazon a lot. Borders usually didn't have the books I wanted in stock and I could get the books faster and cheaper from Amazon.

2-22-11, 11:48pm
I went to Borders today to buy a few of the books on the Tournament of Books shorlist ( http://themorningnews.org/tob/ ).

The place was mobbed and chaotic.

It's not just the end of Borders. It's the beginning of the end of bookstores, and books as we've known them.

2-23-11, 8:20pm
Here's an interesting post on Consumerist about the Borders Liquidation. The stores are being mobbed by people looking for deals, some are confused that not all the stores are closing. Some are hiding books so they can come back and get them when even higher discounts are offered (it's only 20% off now). The prices are actually higher than before because they are going off of list price now.


2-23-11, 8:57pm
I went to Borders today to buy a few of the books on the Tournament of Books shorlist ( http://themorningnews.org/tob/ ).

The place was mobbed and chaotic.

It's not just the end of Borders. It's the beginning of the end of bookstores, and books as we've known them.

Maybe - I'm hoping it's just the end of big box book stores. I think some mom and pop stores will get their niche back.

2-24-11, 12:59am
I hope you're right, creaker, but I'm afraid the kindle and the nook are taking all the niches. Even independent bookstores in out of the way places have to compete with amazon and ebooks.

Miss Minimalist
3-1-11, 3:05pm
It's not just the end of Borders. It's the beginning of the end of bookstores, and books as we've known them.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with this. The Kindle version of my book far outsells the physical one. I don’t know if that’s a sign of the times, or unique to my audience (people interested in simplifying, decluttering, and minimalist living).

Admittedly, I'm a participant in the demise of the bookstore. I rarely purchase physical books; I move often and travel a lot, and find it infinitely more convenient to have my collection on my iPod Touch.

3-6-11, 2:40am
They'll take physical books away from me over my cold dead body. Yea, yea the story goes that it is all because people are going to kindle and nooks. But don't you once in a while look around you and feel despair and think "ah who am I kidding, most people don't read much of anything!"

3-6-11, 3:10pm
There was a longish article in our Sunday paper about the Borders closing, in particular the store at the near north location of Phx. I feel sad about it too, especially the many hours I spent there over the years. They're estimating a loss of 200 jobs for the Borders stores closing here in AZ.

I'm also concerned about that lack of a "third place" that sociologists talk about - namely, free places to go that are "not work" and "not home" - church, shopping mall, coffee shop, bookstore, local park, etc. No matter the prediction about paper vs. electronic books, the loss of a place where people can sip coffee, participate in a conversational foreign language class, hear an author speak on a topic new to them, listen to some new or favorite music, catch up with friends - all for free or nearly free, is a loss to the entire community.

3-6-11, 4:15pm
Yea I was thinking about this too. How DEEPLY SOLITARY downloading a book on a kindle is compared to going to a bookstore.

I mean maybe you only interact with the clerk at the bookstore to make a purchase, but even that is something. And fair enough, ordering a physical book online and having it delivered to your doorstep is equally solitary. And I understand introversion and all, I'm certainly not saying it's bad that that choice exists (ask me how often I use it, guilty as charged, books on the doorstep rule :)).

But looking at the big picture: another step in that direction (isolation, atomization, whatever you want to call it), all steps of course made with little awareness of where we are going, and we wonder why society ends up where it does, not to mention why the people in it end up like they do (um ... all those steps ....).

3-6-11, 4:31pm
I don't know. When my UPS or FedEx guy shows up at my door, we usually chat for 5-10 minutes.

3-8-11, 7:39pm
Lainey I am really interested in the "third place" concept too. I think, though, that it is changing in some ways rather than disappearing completely. This is kind of OT, so maybe I'll start another thread on it.