Borders bankruptcy claims downtown bookstore

February 16, 2011
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Indianapolis BordersIt seemed inevitable but now it's official: Borders plans to close the downtown Indianapolis store as part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. It also plans to close its store at the southwest corner of 116th Street and Keystone Avenue in Carmel. The beleaguered bookstore chain two years ago began looking for a replacement tenant to sublease its 22,000-square-foot store at the corner of Meridian and Washington streets downtown, but its precarious financial position prevented the chain from offering any tenant-improvement allowance to a potential replacement. Under bankruptcy protection, the chain can simply reject the lease, meaning it will be up to building owner Barnes & Thornburg to fill the space. The store was operating under a 20-year lease it signed in 2001, paying in the range of $25 per square foot, market observers said. The prime downtown space most likely will be divided to accomodate multiple users, with restaurants and other retailers the prime candidates. The bookstore has sections on either side of the building's lobby, each with mezzanine levels. No word yet on when the liquidation sale will begin. An earlier post is here.

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  • Sad to lose Borders downtown
    Very sorry to read this news. The Borders always has been a downtown destination for us. Hoping another bookseller will take the space, but realize that's unlikely.

    Have to wonder how much the road construction at 116th & Keystone played into the decision to close that store. Borders had to have been affected negatively during the months when traffic was restricted. Other businesses in that immediate area also have closed.
  • Sad, but inevitable
    Just like iTunes and downloadable music is ruining sales for CD's, things like Kindles and iBook readers are doing the same for hardcopy books. The recession hasn't helped, either. People tend to rediscover the public libraries when money gets tight. I agree that it is so sad to lose Borders downtown, but it really was inevitable.
  • Think Local
    Now is the perfect opportunity for a small independent book store to open in the downtown area. Maybe books / coffee.. Hopefully someone with the passion and start-up capital sees this opportunity.

    A half price books type store would fit really well in FS or Mass Ave.
  • A book store for downtown...
    ...should be unique but familiar, a destination, and offer something(s) different. The location is perfect though. I can't imagine DT w/o a bookstore. I scope out the bookstores in every downtown I visit, been doing it all my life.
  • Everyone likes to visit, but is anyone buying?
    "The Borders always has been a downtown destination for us."
    .
    "I scope out the bookstores in every downtown I visit, been doing it all my life."
    .
    I also like to check out bookstores, if I'm near one. A question for the above quotes: Does "scope out" and "a destination for us" translate into 'We always visit the downtown bookstores _and_ buy things from them?" That is the key question: With all these folks who like to visit, is anyone really buying? And if so, how much? Books are just too costly. I could see handing over five dollars for a book, but last I checked, they routinely want $15-$25. All one has to do is wait about a month, if that, and you can find it cheaper at used book sellers or on-line. Also, technology is making the bookstore a thing of the past. I like to look over the local interest and travel sections when I visit a bookstore, but I never buy anything. Book prices are just too step given the current state of the economy. With travel books, it seems every publisher just comes out with a new edition every year. Not only that, I can get better travel information (and up-to-date) by using the internet.
  • The times they are a changin'
    I try to support all downtown businesses and my family and I were regular visitors to Borders, but alas as habits have changed they simply didn't sell anything we wanted to buy. Buy a book that you hold in your hand and that takes up space on a shelf? Who does that? It was fun to go there for the nostalgia more than anything. A downtown book store - pure old fashioned Americana. Each time we went we would always order a drink and pastry at the cafe just to help out a little bit. Oh well.
  • Time to move on
    Since e-readers have killed the printed book and therefore Apple had a very big hand in killing Borders, why don't we just follow it through to the logical conclusion? Let's get an Apple Store in that location.
  • Not just Kindles...
    I agree with everything said here, especially about how sad I am to see Borders leave downtown. That said, I don't think e-readers alone account for Border's bankruptcy. I love physical books, and suspect there are many others who like physical books too. Amazon killed Borders, not Apple. Amazon has much lower prices, and no sales tax (at least until the states find a way to force its hand). Ironically, I loved going into Borders to scan the shelves for a book that looked good, then bought it on Amazon.
  • Ben B.'s Right
    I think the biggest factor in the troubles Borders is experiencing is their failure to get into the online sales game in any measurable way until it was too late. Amazon and B&N beat them to the punch. Borders made a bad gamble with their deal with Amazon, and when that fell apart they had no online presence. They never caught up. It's a shame because Borders has always beat the pants off B&N for selection.
  • Don's?
    PERFECT spot for Don's Guns! Hell, Ballard would probably even give them some tax breaks!
  • E-Readers....
    I hope people consider this important factor; NOT EVERYONE HAS E-READERS nor are they actually able to use them. The printed form of books will be needed and to some, its more convenient, especially when you don't have access to buy things online. It gets a little frustrating when people tend to forget this and not realize that not everyone is capable of buying every hot electronic item that hits the stores instantly, e-readers being one of them.
  • Apple Store
    I love the idea of an Apple store downtown. I think that is a great spot for it as well.
  • Downtown
    Yay!! Another chain restaurant downtown. Here's to spending money in Mass Ave/Fountain Square.

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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