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Borders Possibly Closing

Original post made by Anne, Downtown North, on Jul 7, 2011

Borders is possibly closing for good on July 19. The company, as I have heard, is up for auction. This will be a huge loss to University Avenue, and to our community.

Comments (12)

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton
on Jul 7, 2011 at 4:52 pm

IF Borders was profitable then they would not be closing their stores.
What does Borders offer that either Amazon or Starbucks does not do better?

The market for "books" has changed dramatically and Borders chose to remain in the buggy whip business when it should have moved to the horseless carriage business.


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Posted by Kenneth
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2011 at 5:11 pm

There are too many bums hanging around down there. My wife was severely harassed by one of them about two years ago, and she never went back. The police don't keep the bums at bay like they used to. Maybe this is why the police are, once again, putting uniformed officers on the streets to run the bums. Too little, too late.


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Posted by SOLON
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm

NO PROBLEM, zone it for a book store only

Palo Alto wants pet bums, liek gerbils, to let us know how compassionate we are! Many guest will no longer go downtown. Maybe we should just close the whole downtown.

Like Atherton, no businesses.


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Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2011 at 9:59 pm

The economics of book selling has changed for good.

On campus Stanford has an excellent book store which covers everything and Town and Country Village has an excellent small book store.

What more do we need?

The idea of paying 17c per day for a local news paper where most of the content is provided by blog posters is absurd.

We have 2 daily free papers in Palo Alto plus the Weekly--they waste a lot of trees and create a lot of trash and mess.




















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Posted by CrunchyCookie
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 7, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Right... what exactly is the point of the PA Daily News's continued existence? It's just part of a larger network of other quasi-local papers, all made collectively redundant by the Mercury News and its sister papers, especially since the whole lot of them live under the same corporate umbrella anyway.

Likewise, why did anyone think starting a third free paper (Daily Post), in the mid-2000s no less, was a good idea?


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 8, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I was just in Santa Cruz the other day and their big Borders store on the main street is closed now. I imagine the same thing is going to happen to Palo Alto ... and I do think Borders is not the same or lesser than Amazon and Starbucks ... no offense to either of those corporations - which I like. I want to like and see Borders remain open as well. Actually I'd like to see another theater there like the Varsity.

I think the Borders adds a lot to downtown, just some big book store with a focus on people and was fun to wander and browse through.

And that was the problem with Borders. As someone mentioned with the bums, and I have to agree and them mention the truly repulsive restrooms Borders became a bit like the old Tower records - a place where not that many people wanted to go or felt comfortable.

To mention one company that at least a little bit does do a reality check at least someone at some point is the Rasputin Records. I don't go there often, but about a year ago I went in looking for some used CDs and the most hideous awful music was playing about murder and rape and just disgustingly violent and misogynistic. I had to wonder what is going through the minds of the people in that store to think people want to be exposed to this or they can continue to run the store based on the business of just people who do. I said something to the manager for the heck of it. Anyway, the last two times I was in there the mood had changed for the positive and I may continue to shop there when looking for music although it is hard to shake that negative branding once it has been established.

I don't know how a corporation with so much invested gets to the point where no one notices that over a period of many years or does anything about it but Borders just got worse and worse. Is it that hard to find sane civilized people who can perceive customers being turned off and driven away ... because many Borders have become this way. Union City for example.

Do they just put the management of these kinds of big stores in the hands of underpaid people and think they can go on automatic or does nobody care?


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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 8, 2011 at 11:05 pm

By the way, I don't like bums, and there were a few who used to just perch in Borders. The tall guy with the long frizzy black hair that used to push the shopping cart all over town and never take a bath use to hang out there. I got where I could walk in and tell if he was in the place he smelled so God-awfully bad.

But I do have to say something. In over 40 years in Palo Alto I have been harassed by a bum one time that I would mention. It was unpleasant, but I find that the people who make the most noise about bums often harass the bums first or pick on them.

I'm not saying this to support the bums, but rather to discuss why it is that nothing is done to prevent that problem. It was seriously disgusting to be walking through Borders and getting a whiff of that guy who used to hunch in the corner somewhere to keep warm pretending to read a book.

Yeah, it's mean to kick them out, beat them up, probably not cost effective to arrest them, but did or does Palo Alto every have any public discussion of this problem and why it is in the state it is in? Aside from this the bums outside or where I run into them most is in front of Whole Foods ... they really do not bother me if I am not in an enclosed space with them. They just say "God bless you" to me when I ignore them or indicate I will not give them money.

Is this not a problem that people think is worth solving or talking about?


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Posted by luckybums
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 8, 2011 at 11:13 pm

Do you know being a bum in china means millionaire now. There are simply too many people there, a bum average a day can racks in thousands of local currency.They live in million dollar house and most of working people do not.I am not kidding.


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Posted by Chinese
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 9, 2011 at 12:04 am

@luckybums: I highly doubt our statements because Chinese are too practical with their money. I know my culture - they are not generous with bums. Chinese don't value laziness at all.


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Posted by luckybums
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 9, 2011 at 12:13 am

So,are you one of the fake bums?


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Posted by luckybums
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Jul 9, 2011 at 12:20 am

I know you are shy,let me answer the question for you,"No,how dare you, i am not fake,i am a real bum."


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Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Sorry Borders, I won't miss you. I guess Borders was a breath of fresh air way back in the 90's, moving in to some areas where there were no bookstores at all. But, every time I went to Borders I was disappointed - it was always so much less than I expected.

I miss Stacey's and many others, but Barnes and Noble and Borders are part of the problem, not the solution. I suggest Kepler's for one local alternative.



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