Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Borders Deathwatch Begins: Will Silver Spring Store be Spared the Ax?

After years of speculation, Borders Books finally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and has announced that they intend to close 30% of their stores nationwide. Will DTSS' Borders make it through this initial round of cuts?

Based purely on anecdotal evidence, I believe our Borders has to be one of the better-performing stores in the chain, due in no small part to the significant amount of foot traffic it enjoys relative to the many Borders located in strip malls across the country. Is it enough to offset the premium rent they pay for this choice location? That may ultimately determine our store's fate.

We've been through something similar before, when Starbucks announced a couple years back that they planned on closing 600 locations. Ultimately, none of Silver Spring's Starbucks were shuttered during that round of cuts. Let's hope our relatively strong local economy spares our Borders. While I admittedly don't purchase a lot there thanks to Amazon, I'd certainly miss the store if it were gone. The departure of this original DTSS tenant would certainly leave a big hole in the retail landscape downtown, though the speculation and wish lists that always accompany a retail closing are always fun.

Up next: American Apparel? That'd be a shame, I do like their hoodies.

UPDATE: Silver Spring's Borders lives to fight another day! Here's the list of store closures, and while Silver Spring may not be on it, the White Flint, Friendship Heights and downtown DC locations are kaput. Thanks to Patrick Thornton for the link.



44 comments:

bmfc1 said...

FYI: if you're counting more than DTSS, a Starbuck's at White Oak closed.

Patrick Thornton said...

It would be a real shame to lose the Borders in DTSS. It gets a lot of foot traffic and purchases, but it has a theft problem. If it closes, I'd have to believe the theft issues were a major reason. Because of theft, you can no longer uses the doors on the cafe side of Borders.

Theft issues are the price we pay for being the hang out for some many tweens and teens from all over the DC region.

Sligo said...

Re: White Oak Starbucks - Good point, though I believe that was a later round of closings that happened the following year.

Re: Theft - Amazing quote from the WP this weekend in their story about Wal Mart openings:

"Addressing a small, anti-Wal-Mart rally at City Hall on Monday, [Ward 4 ANC commissioner Brenda] Speaks said young people would get criminal records when they couldn't resist the temptation to steal."

So they shouldn't open up stores because it will put kids in jail???

Patrick Thornton said...

That's one of the greatest quotes I have ever seen. I hope we hear more from her! She could be an SNL skit all to herself.

Perhaps it would be better to teach children in the DC area that stealing is not OK, and that if they do steal there are consequences. I'd be pretty upset if a store closed or couldn't open because tweens and teens were stealing from it. Areas do not thrive because of that demographic, and they flock to areas that adults prop up by making legitimate purchases.

Now if we could just get a skatepark right in DTSS, we could really show DC how to shoplift.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

"Now if we could just get a skatepark right in DTSS, we could really show DC how to shoplift."


Oh, now that's just waving a red cape, isn't it?

Thayer Avenue said...

Maybe building bridge between Borders and the new library site would save it from closing.

I would hope another bookseller would have the sense to come in. I can't believe the DTSS Borders has been a drain on the corporate pocketbook. Somebody can make money there.

Anonymous said...

can't wait for you to blame Silver Spring for Borders bankruptcy with your trademark ``SILVER SPRING RETAIL FAIL'' headlines. Go for it Sligo!

Sligo said...

I don't blame Silver Spring, I blame you personally for all business failures in Silver Spring.

Patrick Thornton said...

Here is a leaked list of the Border's closures: http://www.scribd.com/doc/48960742/Borders-Closures

Silver Spring is not on the list. A lot of Borders in the area are closing (Wisconsin Ave, Bowie, Kensington, Largo, etc)

Anonymous said...

Awww. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the Borders in Largo. I went to that store once a few years ago and found a huge stack of Circuit City coupons, meant for employee family members, piled up in the entryway.

I saved a couple of hundred bucks on my flat-screen from that bookstore trip.

Anonymous said...

I've sort of got mixed feelings on the Borders in DTSS. On the one-hand they were one of the first (and largest) occupants of the new DTSS and they do attract a fair amount of shoppers/browsers. However I don't go there much anymore because it's just not a particularly good bookstore (seems junked up with lots of other stuff) and it also tends to attract a lot of the teenage loiterers that DTSS suffers from.
I don't know what to make of it. I certainly don't want that store to be empty for a long time and I don't want the people who work there to lose their jobs, but I also feel like it's not necessarily the best anchor for that location.
I'm sure others will disagree and I respect that because I really am conflicted on this issue.
Ok, I've tried to be reasonable, now let's see some people rip me a new one for being reasonable.

Isayaah Parker said...

I honestly am SHOCKED that it has taken this long for a major bookstore to even go partially bankrupt. I mean how many people are still going to brick and mortar stores for books and music? Amazon.com and ITunes are cheaper and more convenient. I don't want anyone to lose their jobs either and I love the energy the stores create with browsers, but honestly, this is OVERDUE. We just need to come to terms with the fact that bookstores will become a thing of the past like Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video.

Anonymous said...

To be honest, after I finished my graduate degree two years ago I've been sort of book-ed out. The only books I've sought out lately are travel guides and novels in Spanish. On both counts, I think the SS Borders has a pretty decent selection.

Isayaah Parker said...

Yes Anonymous, I'm in school now working on a masters and I'm not jumping at the opportunity to purchase any EXTRA books. The books I do purchase are from Amazon.com or cheapbooks. Furthermore, people nowadays simply like everything to be computerized, I.E. the Kindel. Technologies have converged everything so much that there doesn't need to be these SPECIALTY stores anymore. As far as tangible books go, people no longer appreciate DUSTY books littering their homes. It's a new dawn, its a new day and books are history. Goodbye bookstores

Anonymous said...

Can I just say, I wish City Place Mall was the one getting axed!

Borders Reader said...

Here we go again with the complaints about teenagers in DTSS just doing what kids do everywhere -- being kids! You have the same situation in Bethesda, Old Town, et al -- except there, because the kids are white and middle class, nobody objects.

Anonymous said...

Middle class? Have you been to bethesda or old town in the last 20 years? And don't worry - residents everywhere complain about kids being kids. It's not unique to the grouchy in DTSS.

I too am torn about Borders staying open. I do think there are bigger and better ideas for the space, but yeah, you never know. Maybe Peterson ends up not being able to attract a tenant at whatever rent they ask. I guess I'm happy it's staying open for now, but if it does end up closing shop I won't be freaking out about it. It closing would also mean that a lot of people would rediscover the used book shop on Bonifant.

Patrick Thornton said...

I used to live in Alexandria before I moved to DTSS. Trust me, there are far more kids in this area than Old Town or other areas around there. It's not the race of the kids or anything like that. It's the fact that kids from all over the DC area and Montgomery County come to hang out in DTSS. That's simply not the case in Old Town.

There is a disproportionate amount of teens and tweens hanging out in DTSS (certainly far more than census data would suggest). And teens, especially males, have a propensity to cause problems. I wish all the kids of the Silver Spring area good luck, but I'm not the only one less than thrilled that DTSS has become a huge hang out place for tweens and teens, often at the expense of the adults who pay taxes in the area and allow for streets like Ellsworth to exist.

And before you assume that I'm some old person hating on kids, keep in mind that I'm 26. But eventually we all come to realize that too many teens is never a good thing.

Isayaah Parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Indeed, there are a lot of teens that hang out in the downtowns of bethesda, rockville, and silver spring. I find it annoying sometimes too, but that's just the price to be paid for active, thriving areas. That's true that most of Old Town doesn't have as many teens, but that's probably due to the 2 foot wide sidewalks that make "hanging out" or even trying to walk from your car to a restaurant a huge pain in the ass.

Back on topic: Peterson said that they had a tenant lined up for the old Ceviche space months and months ago...what the heck happened to that? I'm definitely surprised that space doesn't have a new restaurant in it yet.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the easy solution is we take all the kids hanging around DTSS and lock them in Shitty Place Mall. Nobody would ever find them because no one in their right mind ever goes in there. Problem solved.

Isayaah Parker said...

The reason that no restaurant has replaced Ceviche is because its a HORRIBLE location. It's not really visible from street level and most people don't venture up those steps or up the elevator. If they do, they are immediately introduced to that Thai restaurant and thats really all you can see from the ground level. Its back up in a corner far from the elevator and staircase. That space would be better served as a small office space.

Patrick Thornton said...

The reason there are so many kids in DTSS is that there aren't enough thriving areas. If we had more areas like DTSS (which is what young people and baby boomers alike want), people would be more spread out. The fact that people come from far away to go to DTSS isn't so much about DTSS as it is about where they come from.

DTSS in particular is popular with kids because it has some many fastfood joints and a really crappy, low brow mall.

Most metro stops should have a walkable core around it like DTSS. Unfortunately, far too many metro stops don't have any real density around them to justify the stop.

jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

for a minute, I thought the downtown Borders had been spared only because they couldn't find "Silver Spring" in their database (or it was edited out by fact checkers), since that branch likes to print "Silver Springs" on their receipts.

Anonymous said...

Ya know, I've been in that used bookstore on Bonifant and... well, I'm one of those people that loves digging through piles of old books and finding treasures buried in them. I spent a good hour and a half digging in that store and found bupkis. It was incredible. I've never had that happen before. So I'm hesitant to recommend it as a Borders substitute.

Julian said...

I got the inside scoop from a good friend who has worked for Borders for 12 years. They are closing their most profitable stores first to pay off their creditors. The SS store has been a consistent money drain. The stores they are closing now will be liquidated and shuttered by April. The stores that remain open for now, will be closed by the end of the year.

Sligo said...

They are closing their profitable stores? I don't get it. By that logic, the one in Largo is one of the most profitable, and that I doubt.

Anonymous said...

"They are closing their most profitable stores first to pay off their creditors."

Uh, I'm no Chapter 11 expert, but I'm pretty sure that's not how economics or logic work.

Patrick Thornton said...

@Julian,

You need new friends.

RoseAG said...

I'd guess the stores they're closing have something to do with the leases.

White Flint, Tyson's, Downtown DC are desirable locations. Perhaps the leases can be sold to generate cash.

Retail leases are usually 5-10 year agreements and the entity that leases is bound to pay the rent whether they are running a business there or not.

Maybe they'll move the detris from their closed stores to the less desirable stores like DTSS and sell that out before closing down completely. DTSS is already full of more junk than decent books so it seems like a natural fit.

Perry said...

I'm actually thinking the White Flint, Tysons, and Downtown DC's locations are closing first because they are less successful. If I remember correctly, each of the stores are within just 1/4-1/2 mile of the more successful (relatively-speaking) Barnes and Noble. If it was only about leases, then they would actually close the SS location first because quite a few potential tenants are already interested in that space and are willing to pay a premium to be in that high-traffic location.

Anonymous said...

The reason there are less teens in Old Town Alexandria has nothing to do with the width of the sidewalks. Kids just don't think it is cool to hang in a place that has the word "Old" in the name.

Ueen Q said...

20150602meiqing
true religion
chanel uk
hollister
jordan 13
tods outlet
michael kors
coach outlet
coach factory outlet
ralph lauren outlet
kate spade outlet
true religion
michael kors outlet online
kate spade handbags
ray ban glasses
cheap toms
jordan 6
abercrombie
coach outlet
timberland boots
p90x workouts
insanity workout
pandora jewelry
coach outlet store online
chanel handbags
abercrombie
kd shoes
michael kors bag
hollister clothing
www.louisvuitton.com
coach outlet store online

chenxin said...

20150716 chenxin
tory burch outlet
coach outlet
coach factory outlet
cheap oakleys
cheap soccer shoes
hollister clothing store
sac longchamp
ed hardy
tory burch shoes
coach outlet store online
cheap true religion jeans
prada handbags
mont blanc pens
kate spade
chanel outlet
ed hardy
michael kors outlet
abercrombie
oakley store
coach factory outlet
cheap jerseys
louboutin
michael kors outlet
polo ralph lauren outlet
nike tn pas cher
cheap beats headphones
cheap jordans
michael kors
true religion
chanel handbags
louis vuitton
snapback hats wholesale
coach outlet online
coach outlet online
air max shoes
tory burch handbags
mont blanc pen
coach outlet store online
ray ban glasses
louis vuitton

dong dong23 said...

true religion jeans
cheap ray ban sunglasses
adidas shoes
asics running shoes
coach outlet
hollister clothing store
juicy couture
burberry outlet online
instyler curling iron
jordan shoes
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton outlet
nike sb
louis vuitton
michael kors outlet
michael kors handbags
michael kors handbags
ray ban sunglasses
coach outlet
north face outlet
polo ralph lauren
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton handbags
burberry outlet online
louis vuitton outlet
tiffany and co
hollister clothing
toms outlet
cheap jerseys
christian louboutin outlet
nike nfl jerseys
michael kors outlet online
coach outlet
coach factory outlet
coach outlet store online
cheap jordans
christian louboutin shoes
ray ban sunglasses
cheap oakley sunglasses
cheap oakleys
20165.16wengdongdong

Qing Cai said...

tory burch outlet
lululemon pants
chaussure louboutin
pandora jewelry
michael kors factory outlet
kobe shoes
rolex watches for sale
ralph lauren polo
cheap snapbacks
chrome hearts
chrome hearts outlet
oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton pas cher
cartier outlet store
kobe bryants shoes
mcm outlet
camisetas futbol baratas
ralph lauren outlet
tiffany jewelry
rolex watches,rolex watches,swiss watches,watches for men,watches for women,omega watches,replica watches,rolex watches for sale,rolex replica,rolex watch,cartier watches,rolex submariner,fake rolex,rolex replica watches,replica rolex
oakley sunglasses
gucci sunglasses uk
louis vuitton bags
kate spade uk
soccer jerseys
tiffany jewellery
discount oakley sunglasses
burberry sunglasses on sale
michael kors outlet
links of london jewellery
cai20160518

Yuanyuan Lin said...

7.27lllllyuancoach outlet online
coach outlet store
coach outlet clearance
coach outlet online
coach outlet online
coach outlet
coach outlet online
coach outlet
coach outlet online
coach outlet
coach outlet online
coach outlet
coach outlet online
coach outlet online
coach outlet online
coach outlet
coach outlet
coach outlet
coach outlet online
coach outlet
coach outlet store
coach outlet
coach outlet store
coach outlet
coach outlet online
coach outlet
converse shoes sale
converse shoes
dior outlet
dior sunglasses
ed hardy clothing
ed hardy tshirts
ray ban sunglasses sale
ray ban sunglasses
ferragamo outlet
7.27

Fangyaya said...

canada goose coats
coach factory outlet online
uggs for cheap
ralph lauren polo shirts
coach outlet online
cartier watches outlet
coach outlet
michael kors handbags
ugg outlet online
michael kors
longchamp outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
true religion uk
louis vuitton bags
gucci bags
air jordan shoes
louis vuitton paris
retro 11
montblanc pen
coach factory outlet
ray ban outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
canada goose pas cher
canada goose outlet
hermes bags
asics shoes for women
toms wedges
michael kors outlet clearance
jordan 6s
ugg boots
ugg boots sale
adidas outlet store
michael kors purses
uggs for women
longchamp bags
michael kors outlet clearance
fitflop shoes
rolex watches
louboutin femme
uggs pas cher
20168.18chenjinyan

raybanoutlet001 said...

michael kors outlet store
polo ralph lauren outlet
nike huarache
jordan shoes
michael kors handbags outlet
michael kors uk
nike free 5
ray ban sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
nike trainers uk

xumeiqing said...

20161012meiqing
vans outlet store
cheap uggs
canada goose
ugg australia
true religion outlet
fit flops
jimmy choo
nmd adidas
coach outlet store online clearances
polo outlet

mmjiaxin said...

http://www.michaeljordanshoes.us.com
cheap retro jordans
oakley sunglasses
longchamp handbags
vera bradley outlet sale 2016
skechers shoes
adidas nmd
adidas neo
fitflops sale clearance
chrome hearts online store
gg

raybanoutlet001 said...

lacoste polo shirts
chrome hearts online
michael kors outlet
ultra boost
tiffany jewelry
michael kors handbags
michael kors factory outlet
kobe basketball shoes
nike air zoom
http://www.cheapbasketballshoes.us.com

Unknown said...

cheap nhl jerseys Friday
nike roshe how
michael kors handbags how
omega watches weekly
new orleans saints jerseys and
ghd flat iron your
bills jerseys go
michael kors outlet super
salvatore ferragamo HOW
michael kors handbags linky