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Borders....The End Is Near??

There have been rumors for a while that Borders, the Ann Arbor based book chain will soon file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  The Wall Street Journal has a piece on what may happen here.  It appears that at the very least a large number of stores are going to close, or the entire chain may fail all together.  I have to admit, I have mixed feelings about Borders failing.  I hate to see a local company go under, just as it appears that Michigan is starting to "turn the corner."  On the other hand,  I really think Borders can really only blame themselves for never keeping up with or eBooks in recent years (much the same way Blockbuster ignored Netflex, which resulted in their downfall.)  Many have little sympathy for Borders, because the chain killed off most "Mom and Pop" book stores back in the late 80's and early 90's.  Ironically, these "Mom and Pop" stores may be the only type of brick and mortar book store to survive in the coming years.

"The End is Near"

I used to love walking through the large Borders stores.  Sometimes I would make a trip out just to walk through the store for hours.  I usually bought an item or two along with a coffee.  However, as the years passed, the prices were just too high when I looked at Target or online at Amazon when searching for new books.  I am not talking about overpriced by a dollar or two.  If you did not have a coupon, you were usually stuck paying $5 to $9 more for a book compared to Amazon or Target.  That is a big difference, not enough to pay just for the book store experience  I rarely buy books at Borders anymore, usually only when I have a gift card.

Whatever happens this week, the question that I have is will large brick and mortar book stores even exist in the next five years?  Will Barnes and Nobel and Borders just disappear all together?  I think their days may be numbered.  The combination of digital media, online retailers, and large box stores selling low cost books spell the end to Borders and Barnes and Nobel.  In any case, I highly recommend using any Borders Gift Cards you have lying around the house.  They may become worthless in the very near future.


  1. Actually, it is about 200 of the smaller Borders Express and Waldenbooks stores usually found in malls

  2. True Nick, that is where they are starting. However, if things do not improve, they are just delaying the inevitable.


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