Borders Books was a bookstore in Ann Arbor, MI. In the early days, Borders could have rightly been described as a "pillar of the community" but it caught the growth bug and from then it was never the same. Wall Street came calling and we all watched as Borders was ballooned out, sliced, diced and destroyed by Wall Street sharpies and their "concept" people. Our beloved hometown book store was pushed out to sea and left to drown amongst the flotsam of naked capitalism.
This article by CNN's Todd Leopold does a nice job summing up the timeline of the rise and demise of Borders- identifying the key events, etc. Todd also- in spite of a couple factual snafus- does a pretty good job describing the sense of loss felt by former employees (if not so much the customers and towns-folk). A better job, unfortunately, than Borders "hometown paper."
The Borders Employee discussion group at LiveJournal http://community.livejournal.com/iworkatborders is enlightening (and depressing) reading and does much to explain the sad demise of what was once one of Ann Arbor's crown jewels.
Although Borders was a 'chain' store, it was also local. A local store is the place your neighbors work. Many Ann Arbor neighbors worked for the local stores or the corporate offices. Before the corporate office on Phoenix Drive closed, many of those neighbors lost their jobs over a span of several years. The tight-knit employees were very proud to work as booksellers, and created a non-profit organization to help employees in need. That organization, originally Borders Group Foundation, now BINC (Book Industry Charitable Foundation) still exists and helps booksellers all across the country with hardship grants and scholarships.
Web site: http://www.borders.com
In the news
- Bad Times at Borders: Where the bookseller went wrong, Ann Arbor Observer, September 2008.
- Borders faces tough 3Q, loss expected, AP via Forbes, November 2008
- Borders lays off 90 from HQ (June 7, 2006): http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060607/NEWS11/60607013
- Borders stories on AnnArbor.com
- Borders stories on Ann Arbor Chronicle
- Borders stories on Ann Arbor Observer
- Borders stories in Heritage Media newspapers
- Borders stories in the Google News archives