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Borders is Shutting Down?? NOoooOOooooOooo!

by J. Money on Wednesday, July 20, 2011

borders store
I freakin’ love that place, man – this is a sad sad day!! I just got an email from Consumer Reports giving some tips, and it makes me want to scream (not about the tips, but that they are closing!!). That just blows. And it’s the second store in my area to now shut its doors that I actually frequented. (The other was Panera Bread, but I doubt they’re going under anytime soon). Where the F am I supposed to get my coffee and just chill? Booooo…

At any rate, here are those tips from Consumer Reports – they’re good ones, so listen up:

  • Use any Borders or Waldenbooks gift cards immediately or you’ll run the risk of the cards soon becoming worthless.
  • Resist the urge to splurge! As we’ve found with previous chain closings, retailers can sometimes charge more at liquidation sales (meaning, a lot of the stuff they will start selling off MAY go up while they’re offloading everything.)
  • Pay by credit card. If you have issues with your purchases, you may be able to dispute the charge with your credit card company. This is especially useful for CDs, DVDs, computer software, audiobooks, and e-book readers such as the Kobo Wireless eReader.

Those are good tips to keep in mine ANYTIME one of your favorite stores close (or rather, any place that you have free money to! Remember when Linens ‘N Things and Circuit City went under?).  As soon as I post this, I’m literally racing to my beloved Borders and paying my respects.  And when my tears clear up, I’m wiping that $20 gift card I have clean!

Or maybe I’ll buy something for the employees there — I lose my favorite place to hang out, but they lose their jobs. All 10,700 of them…what a mess.

Where do you guys do your coffee/tea and reading?

—————-
PS: For a more detailed story on their decline, check out the Detroit Free Press.  Apparently they still WANT to be in business as they really care for their customers, but their last deal fell through and have run out of options :(
PPS:  Is Barnes & Noble still around at least?

(Photo by John Loo)


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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tiffany (Stuffed with Fluff) July 20, 2011 at 8:31 am

Yes! At the very least, B&N is still around…for now =( I haven’t hung out at a B&N in ages, but it doesn’t mean I no longer want it around. I’ve paid my respects to Borders as all of my local branches closed over the last year.

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2 J. Money July 20, 2011 at 9:04 am

The internets are killing them all!! Haha… well, that and their inability to adapt. Just a sad story as some of these places become such a big part of our lives over time, ya know?

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3 Mary M July 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

First victim was local independent bookstores. Next the chains. Maybe one day we wont have a place to go in and browse shelves at all.

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4 No Debt MBA July 20, 2011 at 9:43 am

I currently do most of my reading at home, but will truck out to a Starbucks or local coffee shop when I need to get real work done. As long as my local library doesn’t go under I’m all set, but apparently even libraries are in danger due to state and local budget deficits :( Amazon going as our only source of reading material would make me very, very sad.

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5 Jill Palmer July 20, 2011 at 9:46 am

so so sad! walking through bookstores, sitting in the aisles and just feeling like i’m gaining knowledge through some type of book-osmosis has always been one of my favorite things to do! I hope hope hope B&N doesn’t leave as well!

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6 Miriam July 20, 2011 at 10:31 am

Almost all the Borders in my area are closed now. The B&N at the mall is still going strong, though, and they have a Starbucks inside.

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7 Jane Squared July 20, 2011 at 10:48 am

J.Money – you might want to check out this story by NPR that discusses why B&N is surviving, while Borders is on the outs.

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8 Julie @ The Family CEO July 20, 2011 at 10:49 am

This makes me very sad. As you pointed out, it’s not just about buying books, but it’s about the whole experience. I even loved the smell of the place.

That being said, I did my part to assist in their demise with all my Amazon purchases. I guess I assumed a store like Borders would always be around.

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9 lorakathleen July 20, 2011 at 10:53 am

I’m a B&N girl through and through (love the atmosphere, the smell, the book selection, the prices, etc), even though I work across a parking lot from a Borders… My city has at least 4 or 5 B&N’s that all seem to be doing pretty well. But then again, we also had 3 Borders that escaped the rounds of closing last year…

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10 Jerret July 20, 2011 at 10:57 am

B&N is still around but I think it’s because of the Nook. Honestly, I think you’re going to see more mom & pop stores opening with a combo of coffee and books. Kind of like a reading room.

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11 Melissa July 20, 2011 at 11:05 am

I’m having a hard time deciding if I care at all about this, because I’m more sad about independent bookstores closing down, or if I’m extra sad because this might be the next step after the indie stores, and now ALL the book stores are closing down, which I don’t care for at all! :(

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12 Money Beagle July 20, 2011 at 11:06 am

It’s sad. I did an internship in Ann Arbor in 1994 and that’s when they were renovating an old department store that had gone out of business, and moving their flagship store to it. A 40,000 square foot bookstore. It was awe inspiring. It’s too bad that it pretty much went downhill from there.

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13 Ginger July 20, 2011 at 11:16 am

Borders has not been making a profit since 2006, they had 5 years to fix things but chose not to. I am honestly not surprised but the shut-down.

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14 Eric July 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Our Borders here in Nashville closed its doors about a month ago. I went during one of their final days to check everything out and found that Amazon STILL had lower prices on some things! If a half off sale can’t beat the interwebs, you’re doomed.

Fortunately, our local independents are making a comeback. Those are more fun to visit anyway.

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15 Jen @ Master the Art of Saving July 20, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Poor Borders. :-( I’ve always loved Borders and this is totally gonna suck a$$ for me. The Borders I go to has the best customer service ever, the friendliest and employees and is a familiar comfortable place to go. It’s so nice going into a book store where you see the same people and they know what you’re into.

B&N, well at least the couple I’ve gone to before, are not my thing. The prices are usually higher; the employees are snobby and act like you’re ruining their day. Its cool there’s a Starbucks, but customer service is important too. Their stores are very visually appealing but I just don’t like them very much.

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16 Edward Antrobus July 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Barnes & Noble is still going strong. At least in NJ, they were always a much bigger chain. There were at least 7 B&N within 20 miles of my house, but only 2 Borders.

As far as Amazon goes, while I have bought a bit from there, I’ve never bought a single book from the company that started out as an online bookstore. Aside from textbooks, I’ve never bought a physical book online, period.

That said, my purchases of paper books has gone way down since I bought my Reader 3 years ago. Now I mainly purchase (or, more often borrow) ebooks.

The place I do most of my reading these days is the plasma donation center, because I have 3-4 hours a week of no internet to distract me. Aside from that, it’s often on the patio or just the sofa.

I have a friend who is a big fan of going to B&N to read/study. I’ve gone with him and enjoy it, but I wouldn’t make a special trip somewhere else just to read.

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17 Barb Friedberg July 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I love Borders, and have gotten some great deals for a few bucks there. Guess they didn’t make lots of $$$ from me. I like starbucks, Panera, Barnes and Noble and the library for free wifi and chilling.

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18 J. Money July 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm

YES! Agree with many of you that mom & pop bookstores are AWESOME. I absolutely love them — and one day want to have my own! “The Bloggin Corner” – Haha… books, blogs, and damn good coffee… (that may be a better title ;))

@Mary M – That would be a sad, sad day – but I don’t think that’ll ever happen. We still go to stores for other things that are cheaper online :) And also, this falls under “pleasure” so as long as people still enjoy going to book stores, they shouldn’t disappear totally. Although then MY future book store will be more popular, haha…
@No Debt MBA – Wow, yeah – that would be harsh. Especially since not everyone a) uses computers as much as we do, and b) don’t even like reading on electronics – I don’t! I gladly pay money to hold it and read it/mark it up/fold the pages – esp magazines. I know they’re free online, but it’s not as fun (for me).
@Jill Palmer – Haha, yes!!! I like that.
@Miriam – I think that Starbucks/B&N partnership is crazy strong… it fits well. (and their colors even match!)
@Jane Squared – Oh cool, thanks – will check out as soon as I post this :)
@Julie @ The Family CEO – Haha, yeah me too. Why can’t they operate to just give us free places to hang out?? :)
@lorakathleen – Well that’s good! You are all set if stores start shutting down since you have so many! Wanna switch? :)
@Jerret – I would LOVE that. Nothing would please me more in the bookstore world!
@Melissa – Yup, for sure. Maybe like Jerret suggested above, MORE mom & pop stores will now open up??
@Money Beagle – Oh wow, yeah I bet! You were there from the beginning, that’s a shame :(
@Ginger – Yeah, that’s what I keep finding out as I read on… I still can’t help but be upset though – it still means I lose my favorite store in my area.
@Eric – Agreed!!
@Jen @ Master the Art of Saving – Haha, I get that sense too actually from Barnes & Nobile :) Sometimes at Starbucks too, but usually it depends on the areas I’m going to. The ones in the cities are always the worst in customer service, and the ones on the outskirts are better. But that’s just in general, I find, not specific to book stores/coffee shops.
@Edward Antrobus – How much time do you SPEND at that plasma center? haha… wow… you making a full-time salary of it yet? :)
@Barb Friedberg – Thank GOODNESS there are still other areas around, but man – just scary if you think about how any of them can go away w/out much control directly from us… at leats it was fun while it lasted :)

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19 Edward Antrobus July 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm

J, As per federal regulations, donating plasma is limited to twice per 7 day period. Depending on how busy they are, I spend about 1 1/2 hour to 2 hours there per donation between the administrative tasks and the actual donation. But it snags me $57 per week for that time, which works out to ~$15-$20/hr!

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20 Jenna July 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm

It’s sad, but not surprising. Everything’s going digital – look what’s happening to Blockbuster. Borders didn’t diversify into the e-reader business, and their online sales moved over to Amazon. It doesn’t help that the economy hasn’t been great the last few years. I know that I have started using the library instead of purchasing from bookstores. If I have to buy, I’ll buy used instead of new. I’d wager that I’m not the only one who has changed their book-buying habits. Businesses have to change and adapt with the times to meet customer demands, and apparently not enough people are buying physical books from brick-and-mortar stores anymore. Even libraries now offer borrowing of e-books!

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21 StackingCash July 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

If I was an investor, I’d be buying up Amazon stock right now…

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22 Ashley @ Money Talks July 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Yeah.. it’s too bad but it’s the way of the world. I never liked them as much as B&N. BTW; I do all my chillin on my couch.

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23 frugalforties July 20, 2011 at 8:23 pm

Borders refused to change with the times. It’s sad that so many people are out of a job, but ultimately it was due to the stubborness and short-sightedness of Borders corporate … they flat out refused to accommodate changing times.

B&N has survived and even thrived because they embraced technology and the coming of the E-book. They accept and understand that there’s a market for BOTH e-books and “real” print books .. as well as an atmosphere to enjoy them in.

Borders buried it’s head in the sand and … well, you see what happened.

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24 J. Money July 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm

@Edward Antrobus – Nice! I love it :) Thanks for the recap man, something tells me I’ve asked you about this before? haha…
@Jenna – HAH! Good point. Libraries are on their game, yo! :)
@StackingCash – I’m an investor! I might have to take you up on that ;)
@Ashley @ Money Talks – Haha, couches are good too :)
@frugalforties – Yeah, that seems to be the case… still makes me sad :(

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25 Jenny August 28, 2011 at 10:35 am

Great!! Now I can’t buy my books when I go to Dolphin Mall. -__- THIS IS MADNESS!! THIS IS SPAAARTA! lol

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26 J. Money September 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Haha, it sucks – that’s for sure!

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