The final chapter: Borders to close Cobb locations
by Donna Espy
despy@mdjonline.com
February 17, 2011 12:00 AM | 1034 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Local shoppers were surprised to hear all three Borders Bookstores in Cobb will be closing their doors after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week.

The stores are located at 3101 Cobb Parkway near Cumberland Mall, 1605 East-West Connector in Austell and 605 Ernest Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw.

"It's closing? Oh no, that's where I get my coffee," said Canton resident Cham Mahawela, who works at the Jared jewelry store next door to the Borders on Barrett Parkway. "I guess I wouldn't miss it as a bookstore because there's a Barnes and Noble nearby. But anything related to education shouldn't be closing."

Borders, a 40-year-old company, plans to close two other metro Atlanta stores - one in Buford and one in Suwanee. Nationally, it will close 200 of its 642 stores over the next few weeks, according to company officials. They said cautious consumer spending, negotiations with publishers and other vendors, and a lack of liquidity forced them into the bankruptcy decision.

Industry experts point to two reasons for the company's downfall: the growing success of online shopping and the growth of electronic books. Borders seemed to be late getting involved in both of these technologies, Mahawela said.

"I also noticed their salespeople didn't have a lot of knowledge about the new electronic products," Mahawela said.

Kennesaw resident Rhonda Loyd said she buys most of her books online at Amazon.com.

"I usually frequent the Barnes and Noble up the street when I'm not buying online," said Loyd, who was also surprised at the store's impending closure. "They should start discounting their books and mark down their prices."

John Davis of Cartersville traveled several miles down to the Barrett Parkway Borders location to purchase a book because there are no "big box" bookstores in Cartersville, he said.

"I like the big stores because they have more selection, but I usually frequent the smaller bookstores," said Davis, who described himself as an avid reader. He was buying a book for the third time because he couldn't find the other two copies, he said. Does he think more readers are choosing electronic books over paper books? "I hope not," Davis said.

A recent study by the Association of American Publishers showed Americans are indeed buying more electronic books. E-book sales continue to break records, with a 164 percent increase in 2010 over 2009.
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