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Author Topic: Borders bookstore going out of business :( (liquidation sales start July 22)  (Read 1588 times)
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Blackjack
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« on: July 22, 2011, 04:30:49 AM »

I guess the writing was already on the wall since Borders closed quite a few stores a while back but apparently they couldn't cut a financing deal to survive, so they're totally shutting down and liquidating:

My local stores were always mobbed around Nov.-Dec. for Xmas shopping but often nearly deserted the rest of the year aside from people drinking $5 latte and sucking up free WiFi all day. Although they did get into e-readers (Kobo) they seemed way behind Barnes & Noble's Nook and certainly the Kindle in that segment.

I realize Amazon is cheaper on everything but I still preferred to shop locally, and I got a lot of substantial discount coupons via e-mail (frequently 30-40%) through their free Rewards program that cut the difference enough vs. Amazon to justify shopping in their stores for gifts and stuff. I used to get a lot of inspiration from their CD shelves because employees would jot notes on their favorite CDs. All kind of moot in our Internet-fixated era, but dammit, I like hanging out in bookstores. Barnes & Nobles has its own financial troubles, and it wouldn't surprise me if they go under too at some point.

Some irony since they're the behemoths that put many an independent bookseller (which perhaps might return in some form if both the mega chains go under) and mall bookstore (Walden, B Dalton etc.) away.

And I do sometimes worry that the Wall-E scenario -- we all become tubs of goo stuck to a chair by our computers -- is really not far off. In fact, my life is withering into that.  icon_razz

Anyway, liquidation sales start July 22. I suspect (judging from past experience w/ this kind of thing) the initial sales won't be as substantial as the ones closer to the actual store shut down dates. They have 399 remaining stores. Apparently they may try to get Books-A-Million to buy some stores here and there, according to news reports.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 04:37:37 AM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2011, 12:08:51 PM »

Received another e-mail about liquidation sales. Discounts will start at as much as 40% and then presumably go higher as as they near store closing dates (they plan to close all 399 stores by the end of September).
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« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2011, 03:03:44 PM »

Went to my local Borders yesterday and most of the books were discounted at 10%. Since most hardcovers were typically marked down at 25% before their liquidation it was hardly a sale. The new George R. R. Martin book was marked at $35 so I ended not buying it since on Amazon it's listed at $18 or so.

I may head back later next week to see if they've started marking down to 40% or higher before I go hog wild with buying any books.
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« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2011, 08:27:47 PM »

I checked it out here in Virginia but the cashier line was complete insanity. Even on Dec. 24 I have never seen a line like that. It was snaking almost to the back of the store, and people were like taking one step in the door and then leaving.  icon_razz

What I hate about liquidation sales is the initial discounts generally aren't steep enough to beat out prices online. Then when they get closer to actual closing, the % off goes up, but the selection is mostly gone (I went through this at the Circuit City liquidation sales years ago). The shelves are already all completely messed up and there are books flip flopped every where. The coffee bar has already been closed and furniture stacked.

I was going to buy a nice Seoul, Korea foldout map (20% off on all maps), and a couple of Captain America compilations (including the Winter Soldier one), but I just looked at the line and said "forget it."

I guess at some point I'm gonna hafta get a tablet or e-reader, and just go back to Amazon for most stuff.
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2011, 03:26:10 AM »

I picked up one Captain America compilation (The Trial of Captain America -- guess I'm reading the Brubaker stuff in reverse order  icon_razz), at 20% off, and a couple UK import computer-ish magazines (all magazines are 40% off, which doesn't mean much except for the oversized, horribly expensive UK imports, which are often $18-$20).

Seems like on weekdays it's not 1/10 as nuts as it was on the weekend. Though if they're gonna clear out by September, they're going to have to seriously up the % off to draw in more vultures.

It's a sad sight. The cafe's shut down and filled with bins of books probably nobody's gonna buy until they're 70% off. And the Wi-Fi is unplugged already too.

I've read some punditry about "oh, this means the small independent booksellers the big box bookstores put out of business will come back." I just don't know if print books are a viable small or large business model anymore. It may be I'll just have to settle for browsing the limited selections at Target, Wal-Mart and the corner drugstore for print books in the future, to some extent not much different than pretty much all record/CD stores disappearing.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 03:31:45 AM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2011, 04:52:14 PM »

Discounts are moving a little steeper now (25-50%, and 40% on several categories like crime, business, romance, performing arts, philosphy etc.)
http://www.borders.com/online/store/LocatorView?cmpid=SA_20110803
It seems like science fiction's to 25% off, and humor, biography, nutrition, health, self-help and some others 30%.

I bought quite a few more comics compilations and some more pricey UK gadget related magazines (still 40% off all magazines). It didn't necessarily make any sense to do so yet, I just consider it my way of saying goodbye to Borders. I wasn't able to get those Winter Soldier compilations (someone beat me to it in the week I waited) but of course there are other avenues to get those.

At one store last Saturday, I heard this store employee, in response to a customer question, griping "our location's been profitable, it's just the overall company is run by a bunch of idiots who have no idea how to run a business."  *Fist Shaking* I think she'd quit if she'd had another job lined up yet. A cashier indicated they expected to stay open at least through early September (I think everything has to close by September's end). I suspect the steeper discounts won't be until late August, but by then it'll just be scavengers picking through bones.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 04:59:20 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2011, 05:17:21 PM »

the truth of the matter is for entertainment purposes, books (much like the music industry has already realized) have their future in digital distribution.  It may be true that the small bookstores may see a resurgence but thats only because physical copies are rapidly becoming a niche product.  You either adapt and adjust to the changes or you get rolled over.
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2011, 05:22:22 PM »

My local Borders had a bunch of good MMA books, but even at 20% off they were still way over-priced. But this was last week.
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2011, 03:38:51 PM »

Quote from: Zekester on August 04, 2011, 05:22:22 PM

My local Borders had a bunch of good MMA books, but even at 20% off they were still way over-priced. But this was last week.
I bought a couple more of the truly fun Mark Fraction-written Iron Man compilations at 25% off. Still no Amazon but it was good enough for me (and the graphic novel shelves are getting picked apart, so selection is dwindling). I think I prefer reading these nicely bound compilations rather than month-to-month.

At my stores there are still whole sections where nobody is touching anything it seems. Nobody's touching biographies right now it seems, so that's one section where I'd wait a couple more weeks and see if it gets more substantial in the %-off.

But things are getting harsher. One of my stores has closed off its public restrooms. All the chairs and sofas are long gone along with the WiFi. Basically, they want you to get some books and then get out. Very much at odds with the whole "drink latte, soak-up free WiFi, and buy nothing" atmosphere in recent years (except at holiday season).

I wish they were selling some of the book/magazine racks and stuff. I've seen some I'd love to be able to use at home but I assume it's be auctioned off or something in September as part of the final closure.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 03:46:03 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 12:10:02 PM »

Just received notice that now ALL inventory is 40 to 60% off. I had seen some interesting things in the biographies section, and might check it out now (all biographies 50% off).
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 02:13:58 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on August 18, 2011, 12:10:02 PM

Just received notice that now ALL inventory is 40 to 60% off. I had seen some interesting things in the biographies section, and might check it out now (all biographies 50% off).

too bad it's not online.
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2011, 12:19:51 PM »

I picked up a few things, but a couple things I had seen last week that interested me... poof! Already gone. 'tis the dangers of the "Oh I'll wait for the discounts to get deeper" technique.

One was a book about modern horror films, Shock Value (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shock-value-jason-zinoman/1100224659). Finally saw someone buy one of those lounge chairs which was a real bear for the Borders employee to carry to the woman's car. I suspect they'll have to really push up the discounts higher to get stores cleared out in September.
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2011, 12:15:57 PM »

Final weeks sales starting, everything 50-70% off.
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2011, 06:51:19 PM »

Now is the "Final Final" Sales, everything 60-80% off. Borders Express and Waldenbooks stores all close in the next 14 days:
http://www.borders.com/online/store/LocatorView

Furnitures and fixtures are also on sale. I haven't really found anything along those lines that suits my place. I've seen a lot of stuff that might work well in an office though.
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2011, 02:24:21 PM »

Got some nice DVD deals, including a $79.99 set for about $32.50, a $38.99 set for $16.50, and a couple $20 things for single digit dollars. The computer books and entertainment books were wiped clean. The location near my office had to put a temporary stop on fixtures sales because, well, they can't sell the shelves when they still have books and stuff on the remaining ones.  icon_smile

If I was still into military history as much as I was a few years ago, I'd go crazy in what's left of the military books section.
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« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2011, 05:02:11 PM »

Perhaps the last update -- the liquidation sales continue for 10 more days (I think with Labor Day, they were open, being day 1) before all stores close completely. The 60-80% off is the final sales discount:
http://www.borders.com/online/store/LocatorView?cmpid=SA_20110905
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« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2011, 12:44:31 PM »

I spoke too soon. One final bump to 70-90% off, although the pickings were mighty slim last night, and many cleaned out sections were taped off. I think that's why they had to suspend fixture sales in some stores -- they need them to use as "fences" and tape-posts for the cleaned out sections.
http://www.borders.com/online/store/LocatorView?cmpid=SA_20110908

I picked up a few cool books last night, mostly early Xmas shopping. A part of me has been like, "Wow, if it was always 60-80% off, nobody would shop at Amazon anymore!" But probably Borders would've gone bankrupt years ago with prices like this.

Some employees have been quite sad, including a couple that have been with this same store for many years. So I take no glee in the sales, but it has at least got me really a good head start on Xmas stuff. Should let me focus more on gaming in December.  icon_smile
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2011, 03:29:00 PM »

I picked up a 2-disc set of The Devil's Own / Hollywood Homicide for $6 last night.  There were a truck load of the last Wheel of Time book available in hardcover. 
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« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2011, 03:30:25 PM »

The death and life of a great American bookstore
http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/09/12/first.borders.bookstore.closing/index.html?hpt=hp_c1
*Apparently the first one that opened 40 years ago just closed.

The article's ridiculously long. I suspect most Amazon addicts and e-book reader junkies won't understand what the fuss is about. I will be interested to see whether independent stores make some sort of comeback (most always cited Borders and B&N as driving them out of business, or forcing them to relocate to smaller communities) or if dedicated bookstores just sort of go away altogether at some point.

In my own area, I just kinda feel bad for the restaurants and other businesses near the stores that seemed to rely on them for crossover business. Now their shopping centers will have huge empty spots that aren't exactly conductive to hosting other types of businesses. If I was still a newspaper business editor, I'd probably be interviewing shopping center owners/leasing managers about that. What do you put in a former Borders' location without doing a massive renovation of it?
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« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2011, 05:32:34 PM »

Last day.  icon_frown

I'm going to try leaving work a little bit early and see if I can visit the store near my office one last time. I noticed the "going out of business" signs were already coming down earlier in the week, so I don't even know if it's still open (many have presumably already closed).

I'm not clear if Borders.com will continue for a while or if it'll be shut down. It'll be interesting to see if some smaller retailer poaches (legally) the name. I seem to recall some Florida chain of just a handful of retail stores purchased the Circuit City name and was using that for their stores there, at least for a while.

I suppose I'll be doing most of my shopping via Amazon now. Which is fine. I just liked that Borders' free Rewards membership cranked out enough steep discount coupons (30-40%) that I could justify in my mind buying from a store still. And it seems like over the last 10 years or so more and more of the stores I enjoyed just hanging out at (record/CD stores, bookstores, the videogame stores that eventually all consolidated into Gamestops, the Circuit Cities and Sharper Images etc.) keep disappearing.

That'll probably help me save gas and money.  icon_smile I just miss those places.
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2011, 02:39:02 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on September 12, 2011, 03:30:25 PM

I suspect most Amazon addicts and e-book reader junkies won't understand what the fuss is about.

Hmmm. Why not? Are they dumber than other consumers? Just curious.
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« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2011, 03:40:12 PM »

Unfortunately, for all physical book stores, ebooks are the future.  On Amazon, this past 6 months ebooks outsold physical copies by a wide margin.  Barnes and Noble jumped on the e-book train fast enough and provided an excellent e-reader to consumers as well but Borders moved too slow and missed the train.  I am sorry to see Borders go but it was pretty much inevitable.   I will miss browsing through the shelves of books trying to find that hidden gem I may have missed.  Internet searching just doesnt have the same feel.

Oh one caveat:  I am a convert to e-readers, they are awesome.  The convenience and practicality of a good e-reader doomed print copies.  I have bought far more books since I got my e-reader.   Still I understand what the fuss is all about and I figure most readers who converted to e-books do as well.  We were just smart enough to see where things were headed.
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« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2011, 05:44:35 AM »

So I drove by the Borders near my office Friday hoping to make some final purchases. However, they had already closed, probably earlier in the week. I guess most stores needed to be closed by Friday but some closed earlier if they'd shed enough inventory.

There were just some maintenance guys closing up shop, and a hand-scrawled sign that said "closed" on the door. A few others drove up expecting it to still be open.


I still can't imagine what other kind of business would move into something that big. Most of the locations are pretty massive (this one is two stories), and no doubt expensive to lease. This particular one, I could maybe see a big gym renovating the space and using it.
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« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2011, 04:17:39 PM »

maybe they'll tear it down and build a bunch of smaller stores, but yeah, it's hard renting big spots out.  in a nearby shopping/entertainment/apartment complex we have a grocery store that went out of business a few years back and after it closed they cleared out any remaining foodstuff but they still have all the hardware in in there, ready to go and gathering dust.
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« Reply #24 on: September 19, 2011, 07:56:03 PM »

In Circuit City's case, it seems like HH Gregg (somewhat similar electronics retailer but more emphasis on appliances) was a perfect fit for the old stores in many spots here in Virginia.

Most Borders locations though are pretty huge (whether 1 story or 2). I think the sad part in some of the shopping centers that have them is Borders was probably the key anchor in terms of getting people to visit the center at all. So I suspect some neighboring smaller businesses in the center will feel some pain in terms of losing pedestrian/shopping traffic.
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« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2011, 10:58:58 PM »

I'm sad to see Borders go.  However, I have to say I spent more time browsing over the last few years than buying.  I'd find something I wanted to buy at Borders but end up buying at Amazon due to the cost savings.  Even with the going out of business sales at my local store, Amazon was still cheaper.  They just didn't/couldn't compete from a price point for me.  I do miss browsing through the rows of books but ebooks have won me over the last couple of years.  The instant gratification has cost me a few bucks too. smile
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« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2011, 02:09:30 PM »

Interesting footnote: received this e-mail from Barnes & Noble today...

Quote
Dear Borders Customer,

My name is William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, and I'm writing to you today on
behalf of the entire B&N team to make you aware of important information regarding your Borders account.

First of all let me say Barnes & Noble uniquely appreciates the importance bookstores play within local communities, and we're very sorry your Borders store closed.

As part of Borders ceasing operations, we acquired some of its assets including Borders brand trademarks and their customer list. The subject matter of your DVD and other video purchases will be part of the transferred information. The federal bankruptcy court approved this sale on September 26, 2011.

Our intent in buying the Borders customer list is simply to try and earn your business. The majority of our stores are within close proximity to former Borders store locations, and for those that aren't, we offer our award- winning NOOK™ digital reading devices that provide a bookstore in your pocket. We are readers like you, and hope that through our stores, NOOK devices, and our bn.com online bookstore we can win your trust and provide you with a place to read and shop.

It's important for you to understand however you have the absolute right to opt-out of having your customer data transferred to Barnes & Noble. If you would like to opt-out, we will ensure all your data we receive from Borders is disposed of in a secure and confidential manner. Please visit www.bn.com/borders before October 15, 2011 to do so.

Should you choose not to opt-out by October 15, 2011, be assured your information will be covered under the Barnes & Noble privacy policy, which can be accessed at www.bn.com/privacy. B&N will maintain any of your data according to this policy and our strict privacy standards.

At Barnes & Noble we share your love of books — whatever shape they take. We also take our responsibility to service communities by providing a local bookstore very seriously. In the coming weeks, assuming you don't opt-out, you'll be hearing from us with some offers to encourage you to shop our stores and try our NOOK products. We hope you'll give us a chance to be your bookstore.
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