The economy and a rapidly changing book market have claimed another victim. Borders is closing all of its stores including the Eatontown outlet on Route 35 and Wycoff Road. The chain couldn’t compete with the larger Barnes and Noble and the internet, including Amazon.com. They also missed the boat on e-readers like Nook and Kindle and got into the ever expanding electronic book market too late. Other experts point to a number of what they call bad business decisions including hiring people with no interest in books, changing the terms of the Borders Rewards cards and angering customer’s and closing all video and audio departments without looking at it on a store to store basis.
Despite the news of the closing, the Eatontown store was busy with buyers on Tuesday and Wednesday as customers rushed to get the book of their choice before the liquidators get their hands on the inventory this Friday. Employees were awaiting a teleconference on Tuesday night to explain the closure and chain of events that will unfold between now and the store’s final days about a month from now. Customers were stopping by to say how sorry they were the large retailer was calling it quits and wishing the employees well.
In recent weeks, you could tell something was happening as stocks were dwindling on some of the more common items. However, as of mid-week, the store was still honoring coupons, gift cards, and Borders Club member discounts.
There was some hopes that Najifi Cos, which owns the Book-of-the-Month Club would buy the firm and turn it around, but the deal fell through and all hopes for a continuing presence was lost. In the meantime, Barnes and Noble, which also has a store in Eatontown, posted lower earnings their last quarter as deep discounting from Borders trying to get out of bankruptcy, cut into their sales.