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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Borders and Whitcoulls in Wellington

Wondering when your local Borders will close?

In the States, Borders Group entered liquidation this summer, closing its remaining 399 stores and cutting around 10,700 employees.  Jason Boog of GalleyCat @ reports that on the bookseller’s Facebook page, you can now see a list of the closure dates for your local Borders bookstore.

Whether that is a hint to rush in and buy up books at firesale prices is beyond me to guess, but it does remind me of my book-buying foray yesterday.

I couldn't find what I wanted in the grand Wellington Whitcoulls flagship store at the southern end of Lambton Quay, so I headed north about 250 paces to Borders.  Not only did I find the books, but the nice young man at the counter accepted a Whitcoulls gift voucher.

"Borders and Whitcoulls are the same now," he said.

I knew that already.  Both bookstore chains were saved by David and Anne Norman, of Pascoes Jewellers and Farmers department stores fame.  Now, obviously, they are to be combined.

"So what is going to happen to this store?" I asked.  Borders is almost cheek by jowl with a Farmers store, so I half-expected him to say that the two premises were going to be combined into one Farmers store.

But no.  The general understanding among the staff is that the Whitcoulls store is to be closed, and the whole operation moved to the Borders premises.

Excellent news for the wonderful Unity independent bookstore in Willis Street, as the competition will be that much further away.