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Borders Books To Close All Stores – Better Use The Gift Cards Now!

July 18, 2011 · 87 comments

in Personal Finance, Work

Post update for Border’s Books – November 2011:

I spoke with employees at both Books-A-Million and Barnes and Noble, and both store representatives said that Border’s gift cards are not accepted anywhere since Border’s no longer exists as a company.  Unfortunately, if you do have a Border’s gift card, it now has zero monetary value.

Post update for Border’s Books – September 18th:

Most Border’s stores have closed by now, and all should be closed by the end of the month.  Borders.com is still operational.  However, almost $16 million worth of intellectual property have been sold to the highest bidder, including trademarks and the Borders.com website.  What this sale means for Borders.com specifically, I am not sure.  I would be surprised if the website would be functional under that name indefinitely though.

(end of post update)

On the eve of the planned bankruptcy auction to possibly save Borders, the company announced that the remaining 399 Borders stores would be closing, and the company would be sold to liquidators Hilco and Gordon Brothers Group.  If the court approves the sale on Thursday, liquidation could start as early as Friday, July 22, 2011. (Update:  The liquidation was approved, and some stores will begin their liquidation sales on Friday, July 22nd.) Apparently, there was not a long line of investors looking to bid on the bankrupt book seller at auction.  That really isn’t too surprising given the rise in popularity in eReaders, and the general poor economic climate.  All Borders stores are expected to be completely closed by the end of September, 2011. (Update: Bookseller Books-a-Million is in talks with Borders to purchase 30-35 stores. However, the future of Borders.com is somewhat in the air.  According to a Borders employee I spoke with, the company is looking for a buyer for Borders.com, and nothing official has come out regarding when/if the online portion of the company will shut down.)

I knew this demise of Borders was a possibility, but I always hoped there would be an 11th hour miracle.  To me, and eReader does not compare to actually holding a book in my hands and turning a page.  I love everything about ‘real’ books. The smell, the satisfaction of actually seeing how far I have gotten in a book, being able to read outside and not worry about glare, etc.  However, I do realize that not everyone feels the way I do, and as younger generations are raised on eReaders, I imagine hardcover books will become less and less popular.

Not only do I love to read a real book, I love bookstores.  Bookstores are such peaceful places!  I have stopped in Borders countless times to pick up a book, read a little, and then make my purchase. Quite often, the bookstore is my refuge when I am having a bad day, as there is nothing like reading and having a cup of hot cocoa.

As sad as I am about the closing of the Borders chain, I am sure the 10,700 employees who will be losing their jobs feel much worse. Becoming unemployed during the best of times is never good, let alone when the unemployment rate is already so high.

I will miss Borders, and I am also sad that yet another company is going out of business.  I have about $100 in Borders gift cards that I will need to spend in the near future.  I will make sure I enjoy that final shopping trip, and I will definitely sit and enjoy one last cup of hot cocoa. (As a side note, one news report is that Borders gift cards will be valid for 6 more weeks, which would be until the beginning of September.  Regardless, I would use any gift cards ASAP.)

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Moneycone July 18, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I love bookstores too and haven’t bought a kindle since I don’t know if it can replace the feeling of holding a book. Isn’t it sad Borders is closing down?


Kris July 18, 2011 at 11:24 pm

My heart is broken MoneyCone. I love bookstores and libraries, and it looks like our library might be closing too. Michigan is making me sad in general.


Crystal @ BFS July 19, 2011 at 10:39 am

We still have bookstores and libraries here in my area, move on down! 🙂


Kris July 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Oh, we still have Barnes and Nobles, thank God. (I actually prefer B&N to Borders anyway, but I still feel sad about Borders as I did shop there too.)

The way the weather is here, I feel like I live where you do!


Tuesday Talla July 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

Sorry if I’ve posted this incorrectly. I have been reading through the comments of the Borders fans and I guess misery loves company.

I’m stunned how much I relied on Borders of Sherman Oaks, Califorbnia! Early morning, late in the evening..working on-line, study groups, meeting place..shopping. I believe I did all of my Holiday shopping at Borders three years running!

I don’t think any chain bookstore can match it. No cybercafe can replicate the great vibe there. For so many reasons, I truly mourn the loss, as all of you.

I was out of town when this was taking place..Sherman Oaks closed a couple of months ago. Driving up and seeing it empty and vacant was like someone kicked me. I was really shocked.

I searched on-line this morning in an attempt to locate another Borders, ANY Borders, even if it was a distance, I could go have a cup of coffee and feel the great feeling one laast time. What I found was July 22, 2011 was the end-end. Today is July 26.. Seriously?! I missed it by four days?

Pleasr contact me if any Borders are up and running in Southern California..even if only for a few days.


It’s helpful to read your comments, though. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one that had such a fondness for Borders.


Kris July 27, 2011 at 10:48 pm

The Borders stores that were open a couple weeks ago should still be open until some time in September. Therefore you should be able to get that last cup of coffee in!


krantcents July 18, 2011 at 10:54 pm

I enjoy Borders too. I also have $7.60 in Borders Bucks! I guess I better get over there before Friday.


Kris July 18, 2011 at 11:25 pm

You will have longer to spend your giftcard Krant. I don’t think the doors will completely close until September.


Untemplater July 19, 2011 at 12:21 am

I am SO sad Borders is closing their stores! I’ve seen way too many bookstores close their doors in the last few years and it makes me sad each time. I’ll really miss browsing the aisles, reading magazines, and looking at all the bestsellers.


Kris July 19, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I do wonder though, maybe a few ‘mom and pop’ bookstores may pop up again? Wouldn’t that be fun?


Squirrelers July 19, 2011 at 12:26 am

I was thinking the same exact thing after hearing that news! I’ve got a $25 gift card that I’ve squirreled away (ha ha), but better use quickly. I think that with gift cards, the squirreling away isn’t the best move – better to use them soon.


Kris July 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Hey Squirrel, you have a new post- things that should not be Squirreled Away!


101 Centavos July 19, 2011 at 7:07 am

Sad news indeed. We had a couple of Borders store in our town, and one that was especially convenience. We now only have Barnes and Noble, and I certainly hope that they’ll stick around. For me and the Mrs., it’s a cheap date (that could quickly turn expensive without a little discipline!) to go and get a book or magazine, with a cup of coffee and dessert.


Kris July 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Oh my gosh, my husband and I have spent countless dates at Barnes and Noble! I think B&N has handled the changing book market better than Borders for sure. If B&N goes out of business, I don’t know what I will do.


Crystal @ BFS July 19, 2011 at 10:41 am

I’m sorry Borders is closing up shop. I am even sorrier that you may lose your library! I also prefer real books to Kindles and like audio books above them all…


Kris July 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Well, we will have our millionth millage to try and get the library funded. We will see what happens August 2nd. The library was supposed to close in the spring, but after some bargaining, the city decided to hold yet another election. Keep your fingers crossed!


frugalforties July 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

It’s not an either/or situation. Buying a Kindle or a Nook doesn’t mean you’re automatically eschewing all print books for all time and I have never understood the blog posts like this one that seem to imply you can’t have both. Barnes & Noble has kept market share by being open to change and allowing BOTH types of readers to enjoy their stores and their products. You can still walk into a B&N and have your hot cup of cocoa or your coffee and read a “real” printed book, or read a book on your Nook, or even your Kindle.

Borders completely refused to accept that reality and to change with the market. It’s unfortunate that corporate stupidity and closed-mindedness and unwillingness to adapt put so many people out of work.

For what it’s worth I have a Kindle that I ADORE (truly the way I feel about this thing is probably illegal in most states), and I still have a houseful of print books that I love and will never get rid of. In some situations there is absolutely nothing like snuggling down with a good “real” book. But the advantages of being able to carry a dozen books at a time on a trip with me – in one 6 oz package – can’t be argued with.


Kris July 19, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I agree, it is not an either/or situation. But just like anything, where there are options, there is more competition, and chances are, sales will be affected. The eReader option was just one piece of the puzzle as to why Borders went under, I was just stating how much I enjoy reading ‘solid’ books.


First Gen American July 19, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Borders pricing was very high compared to online retailers the last time I went there. Their bestsellers were 10% off list when on Amazon they were 40%. Plus, I really like the reviews on Amazon. They offer an added value with doing online research for you on the spot that you can’t easily get in a retail store. I guess I’m not surprised they are not doing well. Higher prices with less added value. My husband says that back in the day they were trailblazers in the whole hang out in bookstores movement so I’m sad that they haven’t been able to adjust with the times.


Kris July 19, 2011 at 2:32 pm

First Gen, I actually thought (back in the day) that Borders seemed stronger than B&N. That was a looong time ago though.

There prices are definitely not very competitive. Once in awhile I would do the ‘buy 2 get the 3rd free’ deal if I had a gift card or something. If I was shopping for a technical book or something for one of my kid’s classes that wouldn’t be on sale anywhere, I would shop at Borders too.

Lets all root for B&N to stay afloat!


Money Reasons July 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Looks like you and I were thinking similarly again yesterday (I(I posted about Borders closing too) 🙂

I had the same good feelings and Borders experiences as you have, and so I’m sad to see them go too!

Great reminder about using those gift certificates!!!



Kris July 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I will probably go use my gift cards soon before decent stock runs out I guess. So sad… So glad I didn’t buy the Kobo.


Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager July 19, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Bummer that so many people are loosing their jobs. Hopefully they will find employment elsewhere quickly.


Kris July 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm

So very true. I am sure it will hit publishing houses and all kinds of areas up/downstream too.


Kathy Garet July 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I agree with frugalforties that having a Kindle I love doesn’t mean I never shop in bookstores. Books and cds are still my favorite gifts to give. But I’ve changed in the last few years in that I’ve been more willing to wait to pick up a book at a garage sale or the library instead of needing to own a new book right away. And I truly have only bought ebooks (Amazon)for myself since Christmas, when I got my Kindle. The portability and light weight (MUCH easier on the hands than a big thick hardcover) can’t be beat.


Kris July 20, 2011 at 8:55 am

Kathy, I honestly never meant to imply that an eReader meant people couldn’t shop in bookstores. My only point was that the eReader has taken sales away from brick and mortar stores that were late to the eReader market (like Borders).

Even though a hardcover is heavier, I still think I would prefer that. I need to download a book to my Ipad and do a compare and contrast. Maybe I will completely change my mind. If only electronics could smell like a book!


Kaycee July 19, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I am totally devastated by the closing of Borders. I have yet to embrace the ebook craze. I spend all day on a computer and a good part of my evenings. I don’t want to spend my reading time on what amounts to the equivalent of a computer. @@ There are no B & N in my immediate vicinity and I am not a fan of theirs to begin with. I own more books than they ( B & N ) have in the section dedicated to my genre of choice. I too have $50+ dollars in Borders GC to spend sooner rather than later. Plus all the workers at “MY” Borders know me. Maybe not by name, but defintely by sight. A sad day indeed.


Kris July 20, 2011 at 8:58 am

Kaycee- that is sad! I was at Borders last night spending my gift cards and my heart was breaking. There was actually a guy in the store taking pictures- I am guessing it was the media. I wanted to give all the workers a job.

I hate that you don’t have another book store as an alternative. That should be illegal!


Ginny July 21, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Is borders.com closing too? What do I do about the extended warranty on my Kobo?


Kris July 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm

The future of Borders.com is unknown at this point. Borders is looking for a buyer for the online portion of their business, borders.com. Regarding the Kobo, Borders had a small stake in the eReader. Sears, Walmart and others also distributed the Kobo. You can read this article for more detailed info regarding the Kobo: http://news.yahoo.com/does-borders-shutdown-mean-kobo-e-reader-131541767.html


Steph July 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I’m only 19 and I also hate the ereaders. For the same reasons. It’s horrible that Borders is closing; it’s the only actual book store in my area. I hope that Borders.com stays open so i can continue getting my real books at a good price.


Kris July 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Steph, maybe Books-A-Million will buy the Borders store near you! It would be a shame to not have a book store nearby to browse through.


lak October 18, 2011 at 11:53 am

I am so sad, Borders gone out of business, I didn’t realize that until I saw welcome email from BN. I had about $20 Borders Gift cards, I guess I can’t use those anymore. Or any chance to use online?


Kris October 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm

I don’t think so since Borders.com is owned by B&N now…


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