Archive for Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Borders store in downtown Lawrence to close by end of April as part of bankruptcy; 27 to lose jobs

Raven Book Store owner Heidi Raak reflects on what it means with Borders closing and how her store fared while the larger bookstore was just down the street.

February 16, 2011, 10:10 a.m. Updated February 16, 2011, 3:21 p.m.


Related document

Borders list of store closings ( .PDF )

Anne Jacobson, of Glendale, Ariz., reads inside the Borders store in downtown Lawrence Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Borders announced Wednesday that the Lawrence store at 700 N.H. will be one of several stores nationally to close by the end of April.

Anne Jacobson, of Glendale, Ariz., reads inside the Borders store in downtown Lawrence Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Borders announced Wednesday that the Lawrence store at 700 N.H. will be one of several stores nationally to close by the end of April.

Borders in Lawrence is closing, according to a Wednesday filing the company made in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, N.Y.

The Lawrence store, 700 N.H., is one of 200 locations nationally that the troubled bookseller is closing as part of the bankruptcy filing. As of Jan. 29, Borders operated 642 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, with 6,100 full-time employees, 11,400 part-time employees and 600 contingent workers. The bankruptcy filings said the bookseller had about $1.3 billion in debt.

Mary Davis, public relations manager for Borders Group, said all stores on the closure list would be shut down by the end of April. Davis said employees were notified of the closure today and that sales to get rid of merchandise would likely start Saturday in time for Presidents Day weekend. Twenty-seven people work at the Lawrence store, and all will be losing their jobs.

According to bankruptcy documents, closure of an additional 75 stores might be necessary. Merchandise at the closing stores is not being replenished, but the Borders Rewards program is still operating. Gift cards can still be redeemed, but not bought, at closing stores.

The only other Kansas store that is closing, according to the list released by Borders, is in Wichita.

The Lawrence building is owned by Agree Realty Corp., a company based out of Farmington Hills, Mich. The company also owns the Wichita Borders store that is closing.

Agree Realty leases 14 properties to Borders, including its corporate headquarters. With the bankruptcy filing, it is losing five, amounting to about $2.6 million of the total $7.4 million Agree receives annually from Borders.

After the two stores close, three full Borders stores, two Waldenbooks and one Borders Express will remain in Kansas.

Contentious beginnings

The Borders building, which is 20,000 square feet, was built specifically for the bookstore for $3.9 million.

It wasn’t without opposition.

Downtown business leaders could not reach a consensus about whether they supported the razing of the block for the store.

And a livery stable that would have to be torn down raised concerns with historical preservationists. The state’s historic preservation officer at the time, Ramon Powers, added his name to a list of 1,400 Lawrence residents who wanted the livery stable saved. Some residents and Lawrence’s Historic Resources Commission also worried that the new building would “encroach upon, damage or destroy” the surroundings and nature of nearby historic Eldridge Hotel, 701 Mass.

Eventually, a deal was reached that Borders would keep two walls of the stable, which was built around 1900. The razing plan went to court because the Stumble Inn, a college bar that was at 704 N.H., for a time refused to leave. The bar shared a wall with the stable.

Construction of the store started in the summer of 1997, and it opened by December of that year.

Store to be missed

Since opening, Borders has become a gathering place for students and various craft and game groups. Knitters and artists can often be found at the long tables in the middle of the store and at the attached cafe.

Beau Bruns browsed the books at Borders on Wednesday morning and said he would miss the ability to come and peruse books before deciding what to buy. Bruns, a Johnson County Community College student who works at Best Buy, said he understood that people liked buying things online.

“People will come to the bookstore and browse, and then buy online,” he said.

Myka Small sat in the cafe at Borders Wednesday, studying for classes. Small, a nursing student at JCCC, said she regularly comes to the bookstore to do her work on the free wi-fi.

“I like it because it’s free,” she said. “I can’t think of anywhere else that provides that service.”

Competitors saw value

Heidi Raak, owner of the Raven Book Store, 6 E. Seventh St, said she was sad about Borders closing.

She said she didn’t want people to lose their jobs, and she also thought it was valuable for the book business that there were four bookstores close to each other downtown.

“It is good for everyone’s business that people can come downtown,” she said. “They’ll come in here and say, ‘Do you have a book?’ and we won’t have it, but they need it today, so I’ll call Borders.”

The Raven has been open for 23 years, but Raak has owned it for only three. When Borders opened in 1997, the then owners of the Raven thought the big chain store would damage the local store’s business, but Raak said that has not been the case.

“Borders hasn’t been exactly negative for this store,” she said.

Raak said had been more competition for her store, which sells many local and regional titles as well as popular national titles.

E-readers are also increasing competition in the book business.

Terry Pitzen, manager of Hastings Books Music & Video, 1900 W. 23rd St., said he was disappointed to see the store close, but he’d heard during the last six months rumors of Borders’ troubles.

“We hate to see competitors close because competition is good,” he said. “It’s crazy, because of the location as well. It’s a great spot for them.”


Scott Tichenor 7 years, 3 months ago

But where will KU students have to study now???

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

I wonder if Barnes and Noble will be moving into any of these locations.

amethystrockstar 7 years, 3 months ago

I have heard from several sources that the Topeka B&N will be closing soon. Then again, bookstores don't do so great in Topeka. For obvious reasons.

hujiko 7 years, 3 months ago

"I stand on the corner of the block slinging amethyst rocks, drinking 40s of mother earth's private nectar stock, dodging cops, cuz' 50 be the 666 and I need a fix of that purple rain: the type of s--- that drives membranes insane. Oh yeah, I'm in the fast lane snorting candy yams that free my body and soul and send me like Shazaam, never question who I am. God knows, and I know God personally, in fact he lets me call him 'me'" -Saul Williams

Love it, great user name.

Donna Kirk-Swaffar 7 years, 3 months ago

Wow, that would surprise me. I can't remember ever going in there and not seeing a substantial number of shoppers. Topeka doesn't have the strong independent booksellers like Lawrence has.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 3 months ago

Bozo: I doubt it, as the brick and mortar stores are suffering a bit. Might make a good homeless shelter?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

Barnes and Noble seems to be doing OK, but that's because they integrated their E-reader and internet business with their brick-and-mortar operations. Borders didn't.

I could see where Barnes and Noble might cherry-pick a few of these locations, though Lawrence may not be one of them.

Maybe the Raven can move in there.

Catalano 7 years, 3 months ago

You listened to NPR this morning, didn't you? :)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

No, I read an article or two on it a week or two ago.

Majestic42 7 years, 3 months ago

I'd be up for a giant version of the Raven or Dusty Bookshelf.

Bingoj1 7 years, 3 months ago

I had the same thought a few weeks ago. It would be a good location for the homeless shelter because it is large, downtown, and may have some room for expansion if ever needed.

Bingoj1 7 years, 3 months ago

Another thought, what if it was turned into a grocery store that some people have been asking for?

Jan Brocker 7 years, 3 months ago

I was wondering why it took 2 previous posts before someone would start mentioning the homeless shelter; I would have put money on the first post.

grimpeur 7 years, 3 months ago

Ha. Funny.

The truth is that the smoking ban has forced Borders to declare bankruptcy.

palmettostar 7 years, 3 months ago

I personally would rather have a Barnes and Noble in town than a Borders...just personal preference I guess. Wonder what will happen with the space!

BigAl 7 years, 3 months ago

and I wonder if lawrenceguy40 will blame the "liberals"

newmedia 7 years, 3 months ago

"Books without Borders" What a catchy phrase.

Kelly Cline 7 years, 3 months ago

sad to see any business close. try half price books on 23rd street. great store, great prices, better selection than borders and everything is half price. lots of dollar books too. they also have movies, cd's, comics, you name it. kind of a treasure hunt every time i go in.

kernal 7 years, 3 months ago

I've only been in the half price store once and that was a couple of years ago. I thought their selection was terrible, unless you want to read fluff and Harlequin style romance novels. Not my cup of tea.

Kelly Cline 7 years, 3 months ago

they have a store full of so much!! anything borders has, half price has at much cheaper prices. maybe you should give it another shot. i get lots of my non-fiction ku books there.

Matt Torres 7 years, 3 months ago

Article says maybe Saturday. I'm going to stop by this afternoon and see if anyone working there has any ideas. I'd love to get me some cheap new books.


oldvet 7 years, 3 months ago

Don't get your hopes too high for real sales... when they closed the store in OP, you could still do better on Amazon or

Don Whiteley 7 years, 3 months ago

First it was our Sunflower company being sold off to a pack of Georgians, then Jefferson's, now Borders. Will the last business to close in Lawrence please remember to turn off the lights.

7 years, 3 months ago

It should be repurposed into something for the kids. A Chuck E' Cheese or arcade or something.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 3 months ago

Ahh, wasted a lot of time and money there.

JayCat_67 7 years, 3 months ago

Ditto. Many a quarter spent on "Pac-Land" and "Toobin".

Jan Brocker 7 years, 3 months ago

That would make too much sense for Lawrence!

Majestic42 7 years, 3 months ago

The tiniest IKEA ever. But awesome nonetheless.

notanota 7 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, they'd have to build it about twenty stories tall for it to fit, but it would still be awesome.

otto 7 years, 3 months ago

All you have to do is buy the building and invest a million or so. Sounds easy - I say go for it.

RibMan 7 years, 3 months ago

Open 24 hours. I've been advocating that for years. Downtown needs a a business like that to draw hundreds if not thousands of people a day. A Target would be better, but anything that fits. Trader Joe's would be great.

fabian_zimbabwe 7 years, 3 months ago

I can't wait for LG40 or Tom Shoehorn to jump on this board and blame this on Obama and every liberal on the just has to be their fault.

sourpuss 7 years, 3 months ago

I went into Borders to look for a currently published book and they didn't stock it. Hastings had it. Gee, why are they going bankrupt? :)

kernal 7 years, 3 months ago

Raven Bookstore will usually order a book for you, if you ask nicely.

bastet 7 years, 3 months ago

The Raven folk will help you find it and order it whenever possible. Usually arrives very quickly, and they always have suggestions for those hard-to-buy-for relatives!

kernal 7 years, 3 months ago

That was one of the best independent book stores this town has seen.

notanota 7 years, 3 months ago

It wouldn't be the same without Burroughs.

Brock Masters 7 years, 3 months ago

At least we'll have a newly renovated library......

Prairielander 7 years, 3 months ago

Does Borders own the land/building? The county lists the owner as "Agree LP". If it's Borders, then it might get tied up in bankruptcy proceedings and could be awhile before a new tenant can occupy.

average 7 years, 3 months ago

You mean plywood on the windows and no idea what he's going to do with it? Entirely possible.

Majestic42 7 years, 3 months ago

Careful, his goons might hunt you down for that comment. [shakes head] The man is the godfather of Lawrence, no doubt.

BruceWayne 7 years, 3 months ago

I think it is sad when any business in Lawrence closes. One has to wonder how long this will sit empty.

KansasPerson 7 years, 3 months ago

I feel very sad about it, because I go there a lot. But all the nice people who work there, who just found out that they're going to be unemployed, have got to be a lot sadder. My heartfelt sympathies go to them and I hope they can find other work soon.

slowplay 7 years, 3 months ago

Only been there a couple of times, but it seemed nice. I still prefer the Library for 90% of what I read and will occasionally stop at Half Price Books or Hastings if I need/want a permanent copy.

Noweigh 7 years, 3 months ago

Don't forget the incredible efforts to prevent Borders from coming into town. The absolute panic that ensued thinking they would by the death of all the other local bookstores. Terra Nova even closed in advance, using the Borders opening as an excuse. Well, the free marketplace worked its will once again. yes, it was a nationwide cutback by Borders but the fact remains, Borders closed, Raven (and others) remain open, blah, blah. Simple lesson... if local businesses offer products and services that consumers view as geniune value, they will buy...if not, they won't. The same holds true for national companies. Like it or not, the free marketplace really does work.

Frank A Janzen 7 years, 3 months ago

Adventure Bookstore on Mass. also closed back then due to the arrival of Borders.

gaptoothgrin 7 years, 3 months ago

Agreed...the economy is doing great. I say we free up the housing market again, why can't you set things up to fail, hedge your losses, and make huge profits on the misfortune of others? And Bernie Madoff would have gotten away with it, 'if it weren't for those meddling kids!'

MartyT 7 years, 3 months ago

Glad to know demolishing those buildings, driving Terra Nova, Adventure, et al, out of business was worth it (...)

deadanimals 7 years, 3 months ago

I am anxious for the return of the "Stumble Inn" - wasn't that what the place was before?

nobody1793 7 years, 3 months ago

I think it was also the Mad Hatter at one point, and possibly a pawn shop.

TikiLee 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm not going to shed any tears that Borders is leaving. They RARELY had the books I was looking for, and their "rewards card" is a joke. Every single time I tried to use my Borders Rewards card, I was told that my email was incorrect. Every single time I spelled it out, letter for letter. Well, it happened one too many times, and not only did the clerk take an attitude, (you must have spelled it wrong) but told me to figure it out online, that HE was not customer service. Since I had yet to see ANY advantage to using my Borders Rewards card, I stopped trying, and stopped shopping at Borders as well. The staff was usually rude, if that interested, and the selection is pathetic for the size of store. In my last few visits, each book I wanted had to be ordered- if I want to order a book I’ll use Amazon or Now, when I want to BUY a book I’ll go to Hastings or Half Price.

Arana 7 years, 3 months ago

Gee... the staff was always so nice to me. Maybe if you treat someone with someone with some decency you won't but them on edge. You really sound like a doll.

TikiLee 7 years, 3 months ago

I can't claim to be a sweetie pie 100% of the time, true, but I think if you look through other comments to this article you'll see that poor customer service is mentioned by several people, not just me.

conservative 7 years, 3 months ago

I rarely went in there. Didn't take more than a few visits to realize that there selection was worse than hastings and i never found books there any cheaper and usually more expensive. For the last ten years i have only gone there if the kids were looking for a book and Hastings and half price didn't have it. Usually walked away without finding it there either.

nepenthe 7 years, 3 months ago

Having purchased a Nook, I kinda hope a B&N store takes their place.

Megan Green Stuke 7 years, 3 months ago

I rarely buy a new book. I do pop into borders for gifts from time to time, but I use the library and I buy kindle books (which are usually more than half the price of the Borders version). I can see that a huge bookstore like that would have a hard time in this town, seeing as Dusty and 1/2 price are cheaper, and the Raven offers so many personal and helpful touches. I often had a hard time navigating Borders, and I am pretty bookstore-savvy.

I'm sorry to see the job loss in Lawrence, but I'm happy to see that our little guys are winning this one.

parrothead8 7 years, 3 months ago

No worries. I'll just keep getting my books at the Raven, online, or on my Kindle, as usual.

Clovis Sangrail 7 years, 3 months ago

I used to go to Border's a lot -- they almost always had the books I was looking for, they were closer to my house than Hasting's, and I didn't get the feeling that their book sales were secondary to their music, movie, greasy popcorn and cheap plastic crap sales like at Hastings. And the rewards program was excellent. I cashed in my points at the end of the year and bought Christmas presents with them.

But then things started to change, First, they changed the rewards program so your points expired after a month or so. No more Christmas shopping on points.

Then, you started seeing more and more plastic crap around the register and kid book sections, and you had to make your way through a gantlet of sale-priced coffee table books, most of them reduced because the publisher had over-estimated the market for books about doll collecting and the weapons of Nazi Germany, to get to the register. And the kid section was taken over by plastic crap.

And finally, their selection really declined, and I regularly would go in and find they did not have what I was looking for. "But we can order it for you," they would say. "Have it here in a few days," Well, here's a news flash, Borders staff -- I can order it myself from Amazon and get it in two days because it generally only has to ship from Coffeyville. Plus, I don't have to put pants on to do it.

I haven't been to Borders since I got a Kindle.

Hilary Morton 7 years, 3 months ago

I totally agree. I worked there for 5 years, and the place is totally different now. It's due to amazon and kindles and what-not. To see the music and dvd department just disappear was the worst! I don't use an ipod, and I still purchase albums. It's just the way things are headed. Even when I worked there 10 years ago, we saw it coming.

Shardwurm 7 years, 3 months ago

"...the publisher had over-estimated the market for books about doll collecting and the weapons of Nazi Germany, "

You have to admit the Germans do make some pretty awesome weapons though.

Majestic42 7 years, 3 months ago

There's a reason the 9mm round is still used today! Also, the MG42 looks badass.

Matthew Fowler 7 years, 3 months ago

Borders had a cute girl who worked there who looked like Claire Danes

blindrabbit 7 years, 3 months ago

During the 1940'-1960's, the building was home to Parker Buick Company. My granddad was a loyal Buick owner and he bought several from Parker. Still love the look of the 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible (really special model; look it up!) Parker got only 1; that being a sky blue with a dark blue top. Buick made only about 1,000; a good one about $150,000 now.

Bob Forer 7 years, 3 months ago

Wasn't there a Ship Winter or Ship-Winter dealership lcoated in the same area?

Frank A Janzen 7 years, 3 months ago

In the back of the Parker Buick Company building was an industrial-sized lift for taking cars up to the 2nd level.

Bob Forer 7 years, 3 months ago

I always found the Border's employees helpful and profession. While I am not shedding any tears for the Borders stockholders, I feel badly for the several long-time employees who are about to be out of a job.

Alceste 7 years, 3 months ago

But why? They'll be eligible for the ever so World Class Kansas Employment Security Benefit. It's World Class you know. Get with the program.

Alceste 7 years, 3 months ago

Uh huh......but is's for a Lawrence employer, so it's GOT to be WORLD CLASS. Well, or HISTORICAL. EVERYTHING in Lawrence is WORLD CLASS or HISTORICAL or both....

pizzapete 7 years, 3 months ago

I was thinking the same, I only went in the store once, but park in their lot often.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

People who do that have no respect for the store and the customers there.

That lot is supposed to be for customers of Borders, not anybody who wants to park there and do other stuff downtown.

Majestic42 7 years, 3 months ago

Oh go cry more, jafs. Parking on Mass is ridiculous, and every business near there knows their lot will be used by people other than their customers. To think otherwise is naive.

Thinking_Out_Loud 7 years, 3 months ago

If I'm not mistaken, jafs, it's a city lot and is open to anyone.

Bob Forer 7 years, 3 months ago

Does this mean we have to change the name of the Border Showdown.

blindrabbit 7 years, 3 months ago

Ship Winter Chevrolet was South of Parker Buick where the Hobbs Tower is now. Across the street was the Oldsmobile dealer in what is now The Mirth. Pontiac-Cadillac dealer is where the Wild Oats vacant building is now on Vermont Street.

Frank A Janzen 7 years, 3 months ago

That was Strong's Office Supply before it was Wild Oats.

Michael Auchard 7 years, 3 months ago

As a long-term downtown internet bum, I can say this: if students can't think of any other places to sit and get free* internet at, they're either trying very hard or not smart enough to be in college. The worst part about this is now they'll be invading the other coffee shops and whatnot, crowding them all up.

*Perhaps, many of them aren't precisely free, however, just buy a $0.50 piece of fruit or something and they won't kick you out. Yeesh. (shakes fist about kids these days, mumbles something about them getting off of his virtual lawn)

Crystal Patterson 7 years, 3 months ago

“I like it because it’s free,” she said. “I can’t think of anywhere else that provides that service.”

Most places downtown have either free wi-fi hotspots through sunflower or they have their own wi-fi, I can't think of any coffee shops downtown that don't have a free option in addition to the not so free "freenet". But I do know what it's like to lose your favorite study spot; I shed a tear when Teapouro closed, it was my favorite place to study.

Frank A Janzen 7 years, 3 months ago

How can any coffee shop make any money if it's filled with college students using the Internet?

luv2raft 7 years, 3 months ago

An Olive Garden? No way! We already have two bad Italian restaurants in town (Paisano's and Bambino's). We don't need a third.

Caesar_Augustus 7 years, 3 months ago

I love Olive Garden's soup and salad combo. I don't like the dark "atmosphere" of Paisano's and don't care for Bambino's either. Lawrence needs an olive garden.

luv2raft 7 years, 3 months ago

To each his/her own. The few times I've eaten at Olive Garden, I've been unimpressed. I stand by my earlier comment - two BAD Italian restaurants are enough.

Raiden 7 years, 3 months ago

Make that one bad Italian restaurant....Bambino's is shut.

Joe Blackford II 7 years, 3 months ago

We have an OG in Manhattan. As the mayor says, another reason people choose to live in Manhattan over Topeka & Lawrence.

IF you believe Mayor Snead, I have a house close to the NBAF with an ocean view for sale ~ 2018.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 3 months ago

The last few times I've gone into a Borders, they were way understaffed on the front end.

booyalab 7 years, 3 months ago

The sales presence there seems to be only on one extreme or the other, depending on the season. I was scared away in the weeks before Christmas when I was bombarded by an aggressive greeter standing right next to the front door when I walked in, "Hihowareyoudoing!WhatcanIhelpyoufind!LetmeknowifIcanhelpyoufindanything!Ohjustlooking? Wellwe'llseeaboutthatwheniharassyouagainin5minuteslikewedidn'tjusthavethisconversation! OKSeeyouthen!" The desperation was so palpable I think I could tell even then that the business was going south.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 3 months ago

I asked that same question and was told to leave or they'd call the police.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years, 3 months ago

A large gun store would be a nice addition to Lawrence.

daisyjay 7 years, 3 months ago

That just made me laugh really hard. My favorite comment of the day. :)

Robert Sailler 7 years, 3 months ago

The Dusty Bookshelf on Mass is right around the corner from Borders with great prices. Support independent stores!

Jeff Bandle 7 years, 3 months ago

I love the Dusty Bookshelf..whenever my wife and I are downtown, we always end up spending at least 1/2 hour perusing in there. I'm sad for Border's closing since my girls went to a lot of events there when they were growing up, but their business model wasn't able to adapt. I hope something viable is placed in there would be a shame to have that space sit empty for a long time. I also hope the displaced employees are able to find work..this is a tough time to be out of a job.

nobody1793 7 years, 3 months ago

No thanks. I'm allergic to cats. And the smell of cat pee.

BigPrune 7 years, 3 months ago

Too bad Lowe's isn't under construction to offer these soon to be unemployed people a job.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

Yea, just what the average DYI'er needs-- a bookseller advising them on their hardware or lumber purchase.

BigPrune 7 years, 3 months ago

It's called training bozo. You think every employee that works at a home improvement store got a degree in home improvement? geez. I bet you work for the government and the taxpayers pay your wages/benefits while you write on here.

BigPrune 7 years, 3 months ago

i was replying to bozo. too bad lowe's got sent away - it could've provided some needed jobs for the border's folks. perhaps you can hire some people business owner and all.

booyalab 7 years, 3 months ago

I was in Half Price the other day and heard the employees discussing the possibility of moving to the Borders location when/if they closed. I, for one, would LOVE for that to happen.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 3 months ago

Only problem would be rent. It has to be pretty good where it it now.

booyalab 7 years, 3 months ago

Yeah that's true. It would be an investment for them.

somedude20 7 years, 3 months ago

Well, if the pot legislation goes through and since this is Lawrence, that location might just be big enought to be a dispensary in this town. Smoke em if ya got em

nekansan 7 years, 3 months ago

Maybe it's time to rethink the library project and evaluate the options to utilize the Border's space as an annex. That is unless the library project is more about parking spaces for existing downtown business owners than expanding the space and offerings of the library.....

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

How many books did you buy last year, Tom? (or read, for that matter?)

Tammy Copp-Barta 7 years, 3 months ago

Guess we don't have to worry anymore about what many said would come to pass ... yet another empty business .. it only lasted 14 years ... so sad .. at least the building is nice if they get something else in there ...

Nice to know that the Mom & Pop shop won out and are still downtown - Raven Bookstore and even the Dusty Bookshelf is still going strong .. of course with our new Library mansion .. I'm sure Border's wouldn't have been able to make any money in the end anyways ...

notanota 7 years, 3 months ago

Actually his words were, "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

blindrabbit 7 years, 3 months ago

Trader Joe's, good idea but they cannot sell wine in Kansas; no Two Buck Chucks! My bet TJ's (which is also a Aldi's company) would do some real damage to The Merc.

PennyBrite 7 years, 3 months ago

a Trader Joe's is opening in Leawood in April and they are in Kansas and won't sell liquor. Bring it on......a Trader Joe's.

Raiden 7 years, 3 months ago

Wild Oats thought they'd take down the Merc and underestimated the loyalty of Merc-ees... I think there is enough business for both the Merc and a Trader Joe's however I vote for the Shelter to go there.

Frank Hays 7 years, 3 months ago

Last five books I have bought have been on my Kindle - sorry to see these guys close but kind of like the buggy whip store closing in 1920. I hope the Raven can hang on but people are buying their books online and getting them cheaper and faster and not cluttering up their abode in doing so. Sign of the times - I'm afarid.

kernal 7 years, 3 months ago

Not only are we loosing a book store, but also one of the two best magazine selections in town. I don't know of any other place in town that carries a half way decent selection of magazines other than Hastings.

irvan moore 7 years, 3 months ago

remember how we tore down the historic building so they could build their store? lucky thing we kept the historic north wall in order to pacify the preservationists. wouldn't it be better to tear down that building and put up the new downtown parking garage instead of building it next to the library? it's not to late city commission, step up to the plate and do what's best for the city, not a certain group of developers. like cromwell said, we can make it different from what we voted on.

slowplay 7 years, 3 months ago

Maybe we can get Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan to do a "You've got Mail" sequel where the big bad bookstore goes out of business.

seagull 7 years, 3 months ago

The sad truth is that until we Lawrencians commit to buying local even if things cost a bit more, we stand to lose the entire town to restaurants. Don't get me wrong. A nice selection of restaurants is a great thing, but the town will fast become a giant food court unless we stand up and buy local, even if it means paying sales tax. Whoever decides that internet purchases should be taxed must do so to give small retail businesses a fighting chance. At the same time, owners of downtown buildings have to charge reasonable rent. The time is over when they can gouge business who want to be on Mass. As a 25 year plus resident of Lawrence, I feel a distinct change in climate. It is as if the town hit it's peak a few years ago and now is in a distinct and rapid decline. Downtown Mass will suffer for Borders' closure. Don't forget the Oread Bookstore on campus as an alternative for those looking for a good selection of serious books. Good bookstores are more than places that sell books. They are gathering places. Towns need them.

Melinda Black 7 years, 3 months ago

It should be noted that The Toy Store downtown has a fantastic selection of children's books. This has saved me numerous times when looking for a last-minute party gift.

notanota 7 years, 3 months ago

Very true. They also have a better selection of toys than the Borders children's area.

dogsandcats 7 years, 3 months ago

I only bought things at Borders when they sent me good coupons. But even then their inventory was lacking, for books. I'd go to browse sometimes and then buy from Amazon, or go look for it used at Half Price, Hastings, or Dusty Bookshelf, as they are much less expensive. I will miss the magazines though. Borders carries many that Hastings doesn't.

notanota 7 years, 3 months ago

I pay tax on my Amazon purchases. I think in practice you only get charged tax if the online retailer has a physical presence in the state of the purchase. That's some messed up incentives to shop out of state right there.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

That's true.

But you're also supposed to pay a tax compensating for your out of state purchases at the end of the year when you file your taxes.

Alceste 7 years, 3 months ago

The word on the street amongst the movers and shakers of this community is that the most excellent and World Class Homeless Shelter Board is working a deal for the building and all the stock due to the heavy demand for reading materials by the consumers that the Homeless Shelter serves....including the cook books which L.I.N.K. staff hope to have access to: AFTER the consumers give same approval to review said cook books.

7 years, 3 months ago

They should bring back Jesters! Remember Jesters!?

George_Braziller 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sorry to see Borders go. I knew it wouldn't last for more than eight or ten years and then the store would go down the toilet. It was a bad plan from the beginning.

Prairielander 7 years, 3 months ago

Opened in 1997. It will have been almost 14 years when it closes.

George_Braziller 7 years, 3 months ago

Eight, ten or 14 years. It was still the wrong store in the wrong place. The only reason the construction of that building was allowed was because Mike Wildgen wanted it to happen.

I won't comment on any possible influence the Winter family had in the process.

Hey19 7 years, 3 months ago

Come one, George. Do you really think that one store out of 600+ has anything to do with the company declaring bankruptcy? The fact that Borders is closing 200 stores has absolutely nothing to do with the Winter family, or the local business scene in Lawrence, KS. It has everything to do with the company failing to adapt its business model in the information age. Even the owner of the Raven acknowledged that her main competitor is The Lawrence store, as was planned from day one, is among Borders' lowest volume stores. The company is closing all of the similar-sized stores with this latest restructuring in order to focus on those stores that were designed to be the higher-volume / higher revenue locations. It has absolutely nothing to do with anyone in Lawrence; it is simply time to take the money (14 years' worth of profits) and run.

Beth Bird 7 years, 3 months ago

That's too bad - I come to Lawrence many times just to go to Borders....

John Reher 7 years, 3 months ago

For those who always just loved to go to book stores and record stores, if only for the entertainment value, this is sad. Borders was a nice place, the employees were nice and they had more selection than anywhere else in town. This is mostly a casualty of the internet. Love the opportunities that our "new media world" provide but miss the way things used to be sometimes.

7texdude 7 years, 3 months ago

I'll miss Borders. I didn't shop there a lot, but I went in there today. I've been reading a 10-book series from the library and the 9th book was gone. Went to Half Price and Dusty and they did not have it, so I went to Borders and bingo. Workers were very helpful. I'll miss that option. Guess next time I'll just order it online.

It's interesting that people give sympathy to the employees who will lose their job, but do not hesitate to bash their store. It's the same thing, folks.

Anyone know when the sale starts?

labmonkey 7 years, 3 months ago

I know I am late to the tread, but I will miss this Borders. The one in Lawrence had an excellent selection of what I like to read (I have bought many Russian history books there). Before I got married and was still dating, whoever I was seeing at the time and I would usually go to Borders within the first couple weeks, You can gain a good insight on someone by seeing what section they hang out in. The Borders in Lawrence brings back good memories. Borders also had "Play Misty for Me," a more obscure Clint Eastwood movie on DVD that I could find nowhere else several years back when I wanted to get that for dad for Father's day.

If they close down the one on 91st and Metcalf, I imagine I will be forced to go to B&N. I have refused to step foot in one because they own the on-campus bookstore at ESU, and they refuse to give prices over the phone. They told me "I wouldn't come into the store if they gave out that information." I told them they guaranteed I would not step foot in their store by not giving me their prices.

BigPrune 7 years, 3 months ago

The new fancy library will be a much bigger competitor to the Raven and the Dusty Bookshelf than Borders ever was.

pomegranate 7 years, 3 months ago

I really liked Borders, and I thought the staff was very friendly, courteous, and helpful I also thought their selection was good, too. I did have to order a few books,but what is a couple of days?
I am amazed, though, that I didn't read even one comment blaming Walmart. I guess you crazy libs have moved on!

Pitt_Mackeson 7 years, 3 months ago

Who cares! We still have Hastings (Has Things)

timeforachange 7 years, 3 months ago

Really a homeless shelter? Is that what you people want for your downtown? The homeless add NOTHING to the community, in fact they take and drain valuable resources, and you want to place them directly in the heart of downtown. For what gain? So they can panhandle the customers that do pay? So they can make the paying customers feel insecure and threatened? Hey I understand we have a homeless population, and I'm not saying we use genocide on them. But really to drop them in the heart of the downtown Lawrence. What possible gain could come from that? I owned a business downtown for over a decade, and the homeless are a blight to every paying customer and to every business downtown. Why don't everyone of you bleeding heart liberals reach into your own pocket, and build them a nice center on the outskirts of town. Then on the weekends you can get on your scooters and go visit them, and give them food and clothes out of your own pantry. Leave the paying customers and the downtown businesses that do contribute alone so they can make money and pay taxes for the city in which you live.

Raiden 7 years, 3 months ago

Amazingly clueless for such verbosity!

Bob Forer 7 years, 3 months ago

As long as the Dusty Bookshelf remains in business, I'm fine (other than the loss of local jobs, of course).

denak 7 years, 3 months ago

Borders is going out of business for one reason..... they are too expensive. I went into Borders recently to buy a copy of Princess and the Frog, just the regular DVD, not blue-ray or with any extras, and they were selling it for 29.99. That is just ridiculous.It's a year old. Furthermore, why go to Borders and buy a paperback book for 8 or 9 dollars when one can go to Wal-Mart and buy it for 5.97 or to any of the used book stores around and buy it for even less than that.

jonas_opines 7 years, 3 months ago

BigAl (anonymous) says… "and I wonder if lawrenceguy40 will blame the "liberals" "

I think it's safe to assume that at any given moment, somewhere, somehow, LG40 is off blaming the liberals. For something or another.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 3 months ago

CNN is reporting maybe a fire sale, maybe this weekend. Depending on if publishers want there books back, or get what cash then can.

BigPrune 7 years, 3 months ago

a homeless shelter right under the noses of the hobb's taylor loft people. - the haves and the have nots - the liberal do gooder should embrace this idea, plus it is in the bleeding heart of the city.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

Do e readers break down and keep needing replaced or repaired?

Those toxic batteries go where?

Prairielander 7 years, 3 months ago

Senior year in college. Real light course load in the Spring. Endless possibilities. What a great year!

Scott Morgan 7 years, 3 months ago

Nation in depression, misery index, hundreds of American citizens being held hostage by a sovereign nation, the realization our man of the people president was/is a buffoon, people of average means forgot buying a car, let alone a house due to interest rates going over 20%, old people shivering due to the cost of fuel oil, massive employee layoffs, once proud upper Midwest called rust belt, the Cubs lose again, what more can I add.

Must say college was a great insulator from the real world. I say this, because I had not a clue 72-76 about the real world. Of course, college years.

Majestic42 7 years, 3 months ago

Careful, your whiny old person is showing.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 3 months ago

I love books and this was my favorite place to go in Lawrence. I am very disappointed. No other bookstore has a selection of current computer and technical books which I like. Over the last few years, even the Borders selection was getting weaker and weaker. They used to be my favorite but now Barnes and Noble has become much better.

The best college town in Kansas and one of the best in the nation needs a Barnes and Noble. If they cannot be successful in this town, they are the problem, not the town. I hope B&N comes here soon and I hope somebody that knows what they are doing puts together the right kind of business plan to appeal to this market.

When they do, I hope we make them feel welcome and I hope the complainer crowd is out of town that week.

Dixie Jones 7 years, 3 months ago

maybe the owners of the raven and the dusty book shelf should contact the half price book store and strike a deal all go into the building as one business , name it the Half Price Dusty Raven... while i see some talking about what use to be where in what building years ago , does anyone remember what the drug store was next to dillions on 23rd before the whole building was taken over by dillions??

BigPrune 7 years, 3 months ago

it was a Super X drug store / Krogers before Krogers bought out Dillons, then it turned into a big Dillons.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

" In the parlance of the trade, many chains are simply over-stored." This economy may not bounce back anytime soon.

America has 9 million or more homes on the market and no jobs for an estimated 26 million.

Retail chains are cutting back. Talbot's and Border's are leaving Lawrence,Kansas. Then again Lawrence has an over built retail market so stores simply cannot support themselves.

The " boom town economy" mentality killed our economy. It will take several years to recover. Our local "boom town economy thinkers" perhaps could apply moratorium discipline.

America is Over Stored

America Is Over Stored ( Do Lawrence,Kansas planners,Chamber of Commerce and city government not realize this?)

The Wall Street bankers boom town economics building frenzy produced a bumper crop of new retail space. But the occupants haven't materialized.

The carnage in retail hasn't been this bad since an anarchist bombed Chicago's Haymarket Square in 1886. In January, Liz Claiborne said it would shutter 54 Sigrid Olsen stores by mid-2008; Ann Taylor announced that 117 of its 921 stores would be closed over the next three years, and Talbots axed the Talbots Men's and Talbots Kids concepts and 22 Talbots stores. Even Starbucks has scaled back its yearlong saturation-bombing campaign.

But back out inflation and sales of gasoline, and retail sales fell in real terms in the past year. Clearly, demand is down.

And supply is up. This decade's building frenzy produced a bumper crop of new retail space—from McStrip malls built near new McMansions, to hip new boutiques in the ground floors of hip new Miami condo buildings. But as is the case with those McMansions and condos, the occupants for new retail space haven't materialized.

In the fourth quarter of 2007, the national retail-vacancy rate rose for the 11th straight quarter to 7.5 percent—the highest level since 1996, according to research firm Reis, Inc.

With new projects coming online—34 million square feet of retail space will be completed in 2008—the rate is expected to spike further to 8 percent. In the parlance of the trade, many chains are simply over-stored.


BigPrune 7 years, 3 months ago

Lawrence is NOT over built with retail. why must you keep posting your b.s. over and over. Your so called "progressives" passed the MOST restrictive development code making it almost impossible to rent a vacant retail space in this town. I know from personal experience when I had to go to Lenexa for my business.

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