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Borders Bookstore to Remain Open, For Now

The Elk Grove store is not currently slated for closure, said a company spokesperson, though that could change after the bankrupt company's assets go up for bid.

The Elk Grove outpost of bookstore will remain open "for the foreseeable future" a company spokesperson said Thursday, squelching rumors floating around town for the last couple weeks that the store was slated for closure.

The store's ultimate fate, however, will likely depend on the outcome of the bookstore chain's bankruptcy proceedings, including a planned auction of the company.

Borders already shuttered 226 stores as part of a reorganization earlier this year. This month, the company revealed it had failed to negotiate extensions on leases for dozens more, including the one on Laguna Blvd in Elk Grove—meaning it would be required under the terms of its bankruptcy to start closing them, even though many were profitable.

The news dismayed bibliophiles in Elk Grove, where Borders is the only mainstream bookstore ( and offer religious fare).

"That would really suck," said Emmanuel Evans, 19, a comic-book aficionado who says he's burned through at least 50 books while crouching in the store's cozy aisles.

But creditors granted Borders a last-minute reprieve this week, allowing them to keep the stores open while they negotiate with potential buyers for the company.

"A lot of the stores on that list were our most profitable stores, so it wouldn't have been a good thing had we been forced to close them," said Borders spokesperson Mary Davis. She said the company expects to set up an auction for its assets with a pre-selected buyer, known as a "stalking horse bid," by July 1.

Sales at brick-and-mortar bookstores have fallen nationwide as consumers turn to ordering books on Amazon.com or downloading them to their Kindles and iPads. But in suburban areas like Elk Grove, bookstores aren't just about buying books; they can also be among the few public gathering places for locals.

On a recent afternoon, the cafe at Borders Elk Grove was filled with retirees sipping cool drinks, tutors meeting with clients, and students hitting the books.

While Davis wouldn't comment on sales at individual stores, store employees said business was brisk.

"In the mornings, it's been pretty packed," said Desiree Chavez, who was helping customers at the front counter. "In the summer it gets busier."

Still, not everyone comes to buy.

"I just come in here to have coffee and say hi to my friends," said John Vega, 73, a former Marine and amateur novelist who lives in Elk Grove. "I wouldn't buy a book here."

"People come in and they take a $25 book, read the whole thing and put it back on the shelf," he said.

Peter Rossi June 26, 2011 at 09:32 PM
No offense taken, Sharon! Best, Pete
Sharon Holbrook June 26, 2011 at 10:36 PM
It's more than than Floyd - the online digital world has taken over and there's just no comparison to having a hard copy book in your hands. They are too expensive comparatively. Having worked there, I know first hand what they have tried. But the Bargain Books at Borders? Stellar!! You can really get some great reads...but again, people go there to read books like a library. And no wonder - if you haven't been to the local library recently - no books there to speak of. There are more computers than books. And that's the reality. Possibly they should "rent" books but then the ambiance that people go there for goes away....just a can't win situation.
Peter Rossi June 27, 2011 at 02:38 AM
Sharon, Thanks for the share! Pete
AFB Business Solutions June 28, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Sharon, The fact that Borders is in bankruptcy as well as similar types of retail store speaks volumes about a missed market for these businesses. I, too, like hardcopy books. In fact I am a rare book collector with books going back to the 1600's. I also own shelves of books. But this alone does not hold up to the market and consumer demand. Consumers buy based on price-performance. Online purchases are cheaper in the aggregate and provide great satisfaction. Otherwise, the industry would die. The wave of the future is more toward high technology and electronics. Unless such businesses begin to realize this wave and catch it, they will be left behind like buggies and whips. I'm sure the buggy and whip users of the time thought similar about the ownership of these products. But the fact is those businesses suffered because they refused to see the coming transportation revolution and failed to adapt. For a business to survive, they must face market demand and adjust their offerings accordingly. The number of businesses who failed to do this are numerous across a myriad of industries.
nutmeg July 15, 2011 at 04:26 AM
We LOVE EG Borders! This is one of the only places I love to take my boys. Great for the occasional date night too.

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