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News In Brief

The rise and fall of Borders

Jaclyn Giovis Jan 12, 2011

Borders’ history is the story of two little independent bookstore chains that grew-up fast -Waldenbooks and Borders – and eventually merged into a mighty corporate giant that changed the landscape of book-selling in America. The story doesn’t end there.

The rise of Borders and competitor Barnes & Noble knocked many mom-and-pop bookstores out of business. The rival companies ushered in a new sort of bookstore format: a giant, upscale library featuring tens of thousands of titles and fancy cafes, where you could sip a frothy cappuccino and peruse magazines or skim titles at leisure.

From the early ’90s through the beginning of the decade, Borders’ reach seemed limitless. The company teamed up with Amazon.com to offer readers books, music and DVDs online. Then it offered customers in-store Wi-Fi and gift items ranging from greeting cards to notebooks.

But somewhere along the way, the company stopped embracing change and started resisting it. Now Borders is handing IOUs out to publishers, and it may be entering its final chapter.

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