Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Retail Epic Fail: Borders to Close

It's no surprise, but Borders, one of the original tenants of DTSS, will be liquidating and closing its doors. It's unfortunate, but perhaps this will open the door for more interesting retailers to move in. I have a feeling DTSS won't have a problem filling that space.

Apologies for the brevity, but I'm in a no-Internet-access location this week. Yes, they still exist.

More to come.



59 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm mostly excited by the closing. Either bringing in another large retailer or dividing the space up for multiple tenants...should be interesting either way. The used bookstore on bonifant and new library on wayne will largely make up for what Borders contributed - a place to kill some time before a movie, dinner, etc. while using a few brain cells.

Anonymous said...

How about a Michaels at Borders...or batting cages/golf range in the vast wasteland of City Place? But please, no more chain restaurants! Please!

Anonymous said...

Like many people, I loved being in Borders. I browsed, I had a coffee, I relaxed, but I rarely spent more than $10 there. The community would be better served by breaking the space up in to smaller retail stores (suitable for our "Main Street") Yes, we still need access to the products offered by big box stores like Barnes & Noble, Bed, Bath & Beyond, etc. so let them go in to Shi**y Place, which is desperately in need of better quality tenants.

Easley Does It said...

I'm not as optimistic about "interesting retailers" filling that gaping Borders space anytime soon, but I sure hope I'm wrong. Borders was more than a store, it served as a communal space where people hung out, much like the Tower Records of my youth. Those places are disappearing fast, sadly.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I hope its a Verizon wireless store!

Anonymous said...

Guess there's a spot for Pier 1 now. You'd think Peterson Cos. would've seen this coming and given Borders' space to City Sports instead of not renewing Pier 1's lease.

Anonymous said...

ahhahahahaa. Ah the delusion. Yeah, can't wait to see what "intersting retailers" fill that space. We have so many right now, where will they all go?

Anonymous said...

Wonder if this changes Peterson Co's mind about kicking Pier 1 out. It'd make sense to split borders into two or three spaces and fit City Sports there, along with whoever else they have on deck.

Susan said...

Well, I am sorry for it. First, some of you are selfish jerks. Many people worked there since the store opened. You know, like real people. Some lived in our neighborhood. HERE.

Second, they were always supportive of my Amnesty International group's fundraising in December. I shall miss the many nice people I met there.

Real people.

I will never be excited for people to lose their jobs, full- or part-time - especially in a major recession.

PS: A Michael's? But no chain? Huh?

Anonymous said...

I read in one of the news reports that Urban Outfitters was eyeing some of the retail spaces left behind by Borders. I would take that!

Anonymous said...

Urban Outfitters+City Sports/Pier 1+a small shop (deli?) in the 2nd entrance/coffee house space would be great.

Susan, seriously? I'm as liberal as they come, but come on. Most of the people are low paid/unskilled workers that'll be absorbed just fine with the new, low pay/unskilled openings. And for the couple of people that work there because they're obsessed with books...sorry, but you'll probably have to work at the used bookstore a block away, work at a B&N, or become a librarian. Not the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

Urban Outfitters? Seriously, if they move in they better hire their own security because it will be over-run with the unruly teenagers & thugs (mixed in with the well-behaved teens, of course).

Anonymous said...

Urban Outfitters attracts thugs? Are you joking? You must not know what urban outfitters is. Just because it has the word urban in it doesn't mean you need to fear it....

Anonymous said...

Not to worry. The thugs will stick to trying to rip off the Urban Outfitters location in Chinatown where there's a security guard the size of Michael Clarke Duncan that always mans the door!

Anonymous said...

I didn't say it "attracts" thugs.. There are plenty of thug teens (and older) who hang out in DTSS and they will be in that store along with other customers. Our demographics are different than, say Georgetown, which has a lower percentage of thugs just hanging around. No one said all teens or young people in our urban area were thugs so please don't read that into my comment.

Anonymous said...

...I don't understand. Thugs will overrun Urban Outfitters, but they aren't attracted to the store. So they're all going to accidentally find themselves in the store and overrun it? Are they zombies? Damn stylish zombies.

monkey said...

I'm as conservative as they come and it always sucks to hear about people losing their jobs. Unfortunately, Borders just couldn't compete with Amazon, e-books, digital media and all the new secondary markets popping up for books, movies and music.

What sucks more is that the current economy is, imho, much worse than anybody is reporting. I do hope the Borders crew will bounce back quickly.

We'll get a good DTSS real estate value test with who the next tenant will be and how fast they can fill it.

ForestGlen said...

I enjoyed that Borders as well, but God would it have killed them to clean the bathrooms there once in a while?!

I hope we get a Bed, Bath and Beyond there.

Vagrarian said...

A friend who works at that Borders has complained bitterly to me that the chain has been mismanaged for years. Another friend, who works PT at a Borders in PA, agrees and says it basically deserves to fail.

It is unfortunate that people will be losing their jobs and a nice meeting/browsing space will go away. But the best information is that a lot of this comes from the company shooting itself in the foot, over and over again, and there's not much we can do about it.

Anonymous said...

You folks are forgetting your place. Borders will be replaced with a nail salon, dry cleaner and a Pep Boys.

Anonymous said...

Yay! The NoVa fanboy is back! I was so worried, he totally went quite with the City Sports announcement (the latest thing nova wishes it had, along with culture, cuisine, and a soul).

Anonymous said...

yay! The delusional DTSS loving sychophant is still here.

You know: the person who refuses to see the problem with their neighborhood and likes to sugarcoat it and pretend that it's much better than it really is and is jealous of NOVA for some reason. So much so that he/she/it thinks everyone is a "NOVA" fan.

Can't wait to see what amazing and "interesting" retail fills this space. Let's guess:

Something involving eating. One thing it wont be: an up-scale retail store that EVERY other area like DTSS has.

Anonymous said...

yay! The delusional DTSS loving sychophant is still here.

You know: the person who refuses to see the problem with their neighborhood and likes to sugarcoat it and pretend that it's much better than it really is and is jealous of NOVA for some reason. So much so that he/she/it thinks everyone is a "NOVA" fan.

Can't wait to see what amazing and "interesting" retail fills this space. Let's guess:

Something involving eating. One thing it wont be: an up-scale retail store that EVERY other area like DTSS has.

Anonymous said...

To the NOVA person and DTSS lover, let's not kid ourselves here: NOVA has higher land values, better stores and less crime. It also has culture and a soul. In fact, I resent you implying that it doesn't have those things. But, with that being said, DTSS has the potential to be something much better than it is. And I don't think Borders leaving hurts that potential...

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last Anon. I'm not a huge NOVA fan but it's a very nice place.

It has it's issues sure, everywhere does. Like insane traffic, nazi cops, snobby people etc. But so what? It has a lot of great things going for it and professional and succesful (nevermind attractive) people move there in droves for a reason.

DTSS has improved a lot and there are some nice things about it right now, but it has a LONG way to go. Right now the properties are way overpriced for the fact that you have to live in an area populated by teenagers, thugs, homeless people and an area that has almost zero upscale anything (food or retail).

But hey, if you like defending low class communities that cater to thugs, more power to you.

CBMLphoto said...

Many of you praised Borders for being a great communal place in DTSS for socializing and burning time before a movie or dinner. I realize that the entire chain is going under, but I think it's for this exact reason why our Borders probably never did any 'great' business; most used it as an upscale library, place to chat or browse for a couple minutes before going off to spend money elsewhere...no revenue created for Borders in those activities. The awkwardly shaped location may be a tough spot to fill with multiple shops without creating another Sh***y Place type set-up. I'm interested to see what will fill this hole to attract more peds to DTSS.

Anonymous said...

How about a delicious delicious Best Buy?

Clancy said...

Does anyone else think it's completely unbalanced and foolish for someone to compare the relatively small "downtown Silver Spring" with the entirety of Northern Virginia? It would make more sense to compare all of Montgomery County to NoVa, but even then it's an apples/oranges situation. This is like criticizing Singapore for not having the GDP or economic diversity of the European Union.

Anonymous said...

To Clancy: nope. Just goes to show you that just about EVERYWHERE in NOVA is better. Pick a spot, it's better.

Anonymous said...

Well, Silver Spring does have the AFI which NOVA cannot claim at all.

Anonymous said...

Dude, just move to NoVa and leave us fat, ugly, poor Silver Springers alone. So weird.

Anonymous said...

Michaels is a craft store...I said no more chain RESTAURANTS, not no more chains.

E-Vox said...

Anonymous said...
To Clancy: nope. Just goes to show you that just about EVERYWHERE in NOVA is better. Pick a spot, it's better.
___________________________________

Really? South Arlington, Woodbridge, Manassas, Herndon, Springfield, and Annandale are so much better than Silver Spring?

Having just moved from Alexandria, I would never be able to find what I have here in SS in NOVA.

Anonymous said...

I'm a single mom who hasn't had a raise in 4 years(I work for the County). Border was a great place to take my kids for a few hours without spending any money (and no the library isn't the same). We read entire series of books! I used the free wifi to complete an online degree. It's walking distance from home. I have no idea how I'll replicate what this store enabled me to do.

monkey said...

To anon single mom: so I'm clear -- instead of using the tax funded libraries, you leeched the resources of borders, whose expenses are covered by other paying customers?

JindoFox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pete said...

Anon single mom's comment is pretty amazing--almost think it's a plant. There will soon be a public library but a few hundred feet from the Borders site where you can do ALL those things for free, and probably more, without abusing the product and amenities of a for-profit store.

Glad our county employs you.

(One more thing--I shopped at Borders quite a bit. Good if expensive source for cards, gift wrap, small gifts, and magazines. Course you never want the greasy, dog-eared magazine in front that anon single mom's kids were reading.)

Isayaah Parker said...

Most people used Borders as a hang out lazy spot before dinner or movie, so I guess we are all criminals. I don't get what the CIVIC CENTER cannot offer the same things that Borders did, they should put some chairs, magazines, free music listening stations and a few books in there. When is Borders closing? And like many others, I am pessimistic about what will replace it. I anticipate a DOLLAR WORLD or BEAUTY WORLD lol or a hair salon world. But at least we have the Fillmore and celebrity musicians coming to Silver Spring in a couple months. Can't beat that!

Sligo said...

"I anticipate a DOLLAR WORLD or BEAUTY WORLD"

I think DTSS charges way too much for those types of businesses. I'd anticipate something better than you might expect.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in Virginia (Alexandria and Ballston) DC (Hill) and now downtown Silver Spring. Each area has things that the other doesn't.

What NOVA does seem to have though (besides soul crushing traffic, virginia is by far the worst of the three), is a complete loser who goes on a silver spring blog to talk up Virginia. Serious, get a life.

I left DC because I couldn't afford to live in a nice place and a nice area without spending an absurd amount of money. I left Virginia because the orange line is by far the worst and orange/blue aren't much better. There is also very little diversity in most of NOVA, mostly UVA frat boys.

Silver Spring is up and coming. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, many many problems but that's okay, because it's getting better by the week and month.

Do do us all a favor and go pop your collar and hangout at Whitlow's.

monkey said...

@Isayaah -- My point about Anon single mom was that she spends "hours" with her kids and surfing the web there, and doesn't buy anything. That is the worst type of foot traffic. Borders, like all retail stores, depends on foot traffic and definitely set up the place for quick hangouts. I didn't mean to imply that all people hanging out were "guilty" of Borders leeching.

I was in Borders today and asked the clerk when they expect to close. I was told that they still have to clear out distribution centers so there will be new items coming to the shelves to liquidate. In the end, they don't have an exact date.

I fondly remember Whitlows in Farlington. I lived in "soul crushing" traffic NOVA for three years before moving to DTSS for that very reason. From my point-of-view, if you have MD connections (like in Annapolis, Baltimore, etc) and need to be by DC, SS is really an ideal location. Getting to Annapolis, Baltimore and Dulles Airport is 30-45 minutes.

Anonymous said...

silver spring could use a bar scene like whitlows. lucky we have the soul crushing misery of the piratz tavern

Anonymous said...

The last thing we need is more retail coming in. Who the hell shops retail anymore than to browse, see what they like, and then get it online on Ebay or Amazon. Best Buy and Bed Bath Beyond are failing models. We need a creative approach to the space like Poets and Busboys or something.

Anonymous said...

A Busboys & Poets would be awesome there...

Anonymous said...

See this related blog on the role Borders played in providing legitimate late night traffic and possibly a deterrent for DTSS crime. http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/11416/more-and-varied-nightlife-can-make-silver-spring-safer/

TFM said...

We browsed at Borders on weekends before and after movies. Usually we bought something, a magazine, some coffees, a bargain book or CD, even though not intending to. Always, there was a line-up at the cash registers, so not everyone who visited was just filling in time without buying. Every retail store has to have the tolerance for browsers - the "no thanks, I'm just looking" group. Maybe bookstores get more of them, but Borders also did a good business at that particular location in Silver Spring. Maybe we'll be lucky enough to have Barnes and Noble or some other bookstore come in. And for whoever suggested a Busboys and Poets - that would be fabulous!

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