Let me know if you hear of any other stores that are closing. This article on a store closing in Cincinnati suggests that there are 5 scheduled to close in January, with stores in Santa Monica, CA, and Tempe, AZ rounding out the list. Santa Monica is the other that I've visited, and in its heyday it was quite successful. I wonder if that's a lease expiring with more rent than a bookstore can pay? If there are only 5 shuttering I'd consider that better than I'd predicted, but it remains to be seen if any post-holiday assessments will lead to more in March.
- The Brillig Blogger
- A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
So one Borders in Sacramento, CA is closing. The employees found out when the signage package about the closing arrived to be put in the windows. And now I see that store #97 in Gaithersburg, MD is closing as well. The first time I visited the Gaithersburg store I walked out around 5 miles from the Shady Grove Metro stop, but later discovered that there were quick buses I could take. Over the years, the store suffered from very inept management. The receiving room was very slow so books were frequently not put out until after the first couple weeks on sale, thus costing sales. The shelves were messy. In recent years they hybridized the sf section shelving in such a way that it didn't have any usable backstock, so the shelves were always too crowded, and then they would go through and do store-initiated returns to clear up space, so they were frequently without books they were supposed to have. It got to the point that I'd only stop by at that store because those buses then went 5 miles further out to a Borders in Germantown that grew in leaps and bounds. When it first opened it was one of the stores that was skipped for books like the mass market of GUARDS OF HAVEN by Simon Green or CODE OF CONDUCT by Kristine Smith, but its business took off until it became a major sf/fantasy store for Borders while the Gaithersburg store withered away. I'm not going to miss store #97, but does it make sense to take the Ride-On just to visit #384? Do I still stop in the nabe to vist the Waldenbooks that continues to exist in the Lake Forest Mall across the street? Philosophically I should be sad that Borders #97 is closed after 13 years, but isn't there a saying "good riddance to bad garbage?" I feel bad for the employees who might have been doing their best, but I hope that the GM(s) who helped to mismanage the store into the trash heap of history won't be given new assignments. Of course, the way the world works any hard-working employees will probably be put into the trash heap of history while the managers get to go on and ruin some other store.