I happened to stumble on this New York Times article this evening: “Calling Off Auction, Borders Plans to Liquidate.” According to the article, “Borders said it would proceed with a proposal . . . to close down its 399 remaining stores. . . . The company will begin closing its remaining stores as soon as Friday, and the liquidation is expected to run through September.”

I presume that the Borders store in Columbia Crossing will be closed in the coming weeks as part of this plan, along with the Borders Express store in the Mall at Columbia. Whether another bookseller will move into either of these locations is an open question. The article speculates that “Other national book chains, like Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, could move into stores vacated by Borders.” but also notes that “Some competing bookstores are already nearby. A spokeswoman for Barnes & Noble said that 70 percent of Barnes & Noble’s stores are within five miles of an existing Borders store.” This is true locally: The Ellicott City location of Barnes and Noble is just around five miles away in driving distance from the Columbia Crossing Borders, and less than five miles away as the crow flies.

I’ll miss the Columbia Borders, but have to confess that I haven’t been in the place more than a couple of times over the last year or two—which I guess makes me part of the industry trend that led to Borders going out of business.

JL (jonlemich@gmail.com) - 2011-07-19 13:21

A couple times in the last year or two is fair. They have other brick and mortar competitors: Second Edition gets plenty of my business, as does the B&N in Ellicott City. Second Edition doesn’t seem to be doing badly, and that Borders location is probably one of their more profitable ones. There’s always a line. I probably buy 4 books online for every 1 I buy in a brick and mortar store, but I probably buy 5 times the books of the American consumer, so it evens out… …Or maybe not. I split my brick and mortar purchases between Borders (Silver Spring, near work), Borders (Columbia), Second Edition and B&N (Ellicott CIty) while all my online book purchases are from Amazon. So there’s that.

Ox (chrisoxenham85@gmail.com) - 2011-07-19 17:26

It seems like the trend is moving towards nooks, ipad’s and the like. Borders did not jump on this fast enough and got left behind. I happen to be a huge fan of collecting books, but I know many others prefer the ease of computerized reading. It will be interesting to see how these others chains compete in this marketplace moving forward. Columbia Crossing and Dobbin have seen a beatdown on businesses dying on them in the last 4 years: 1) Mammoth Golf 2) Expo Design Center 3) Borders 4) Comp USA 5) Tweeter 6) several furniture shops Ouch!

hecker - 2011-07-19 18:59

Ox, you may also remember that Borders was slow to get into selling books over the Internet, and eventually ended up outsourcing that function to Amazon (if I remember correctly). And you’re right, Columbia Crossing and Columbia Crossing II are star-crossed in terms of retaining big box stores.

JessieX - 2011-07-19 23:40

That place had death written all over it! In May 2007, I wrote a post giving them 12-18 months to survive. I was a few years off, but right on. #NoEvolutionEqualsDeath http://hometowncolumbia.wordpress.com/2007/05/28/borders-with-spaces/