Somber mood sets in as Borders store at Arborland plans to close Sunday
Like saying "goodbye" to an old friend, many area Ann Arbor residents will make their way to Arborland’s Borders bookstore as it prepares to close for good this weekend.
Kara Inmon of Ypsilanti, a frequent Borders shopper visited the store this afternoon and described the mood as sad.
“This is where I get all of my Christmas gifts for everybody I love it,” she said. Inmon was hoping to find a few more gifts at Borders' "Final Days Sale," particularly for her son’s 10th birthday. But she acknowledged that the children’s books selection is sparse.
The 23,000-square-foot Borders superstore at Arborland Center on Washtenaw Avenue will close its doors for the final time on Sunday afternoon. It's one of 226 superstores Borders is shuttering as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
By this afternoon, the store was mostly empty. All remaining merchandise has been moved and reorganized to the front quarter of the store.
Angela Smith | For AnnArbor.com
CD’s, DVD’s and children’s items had been picked clean, leaving very little to choose from. Veronica Conlin of Ann Arbor, who has visited the store about once a week during its liquidation sale, was still able to come up with an armload of treasures worth purchasing.
“I think I counted 35 books that I have bought over the last months,” she said.
It's a far cry from the first few days after the liquidation sale started, when customers were waiting in lines for as long as two hours.
Conlin said that taking the time to look over the remaining items reveals a good selection, especially in the fiction and politics genres.Taebee Chang, a University of Michigan student, stopped in to find a few things before heading back home at the end of the school semester. She was happy to find a few good deals and still optimistic about Ann Arbor’s other Borders locations, particularly the flagship store downtown on Liberty Street.
But other shoppers were less positive. “It feels like a book garage sale,” said one shopper to another.
What shelves and fixtures were left were selling at bargain basement prices.
The store’s music section had been relocated to a small shelf near the check out.
The cafÃ© area was completely dismantled. Fixtures and furniture were removed earlier in the liquidation process.
Shoppers were commiserating as they sifted through the items left for sale. Most items are priced at 80 percent to 90 percent off, including magazines and Paperchase items.
Most of the book selection was quite meager, with the exception of some titles that seemed to be in ample supply, like Tori Spelling’s children’s book, "Presenting Tallulah," and Sarah Palin’s "America by Heart."
Though the stock quantity was not first-rate, the liquidation prices were pleasing to most customers.
“We’re offering four books for $10. No book in the store will cost you more than $2.50. We suggest very strongly that if you see something you like, you buy it today,” announced a liquidation staff member.
Some folks wandered toward the vacant back of the store, just to get a final glimpse of the store that occupied the prominent front corner of Arborland for more than a decade. Others wondered what might move in next.
Conlin is a bit cynical about the future of the prime Arborland location: “I think it will stay empty for a while, which is sad.”
Angela Smith is a freelance writer for AnnArbor.com.