Fort Lee Is Losing Its Borders

Borders Bookstore - Fort Lee, NJ - Feb 18, 2011

Borders Bookstore - Fort Lee, NJ - Feb 18, 2011

Okay, here is my first newsy blog post.

You may have heard that Borders has filed for bankruptcy and will be closing many stores. Among them is the one on Schlosser Street in Fort Lee.

Now, I saw this coming for years (not specifically the closing, or even existence, of the Fort Lee store – I’ve only known about its existence for about two and a half years). But I did see big trouble ahead for Borders.

For a while I loved Borders. It was the bookstore near the Loews in Wayne when I used to go to the movies there. It was also the bookstore at the Garden State Plaza. A Barnes & Noble was never particularly convenient (or at least not significantly more convenient) than a Borders.

But even before I moved into a town with a Borders, I knew things weren’t going well. The quality of the stores had gone downhill. They had a rather pathetic internet operation, which they tried to launch after a strange partnership with amazon.com broke up.

There are four Borders stores closing in New Jersey.

  • Fort Lee
  • Paramus (Garden State Plaza)
  • Watchung (Watching Square)
  • Freehold (Raceway Mall)

Nine Borders stores will be closing in New York.

  • Manhattan (576 2nd Avenue)
  • Manhattan (461 Park Avenue)
  • Manhattan (100 Broadway)
  • Commack (King Kullen Plaza)
  • Westbury (Price Club Plaza)
  • Scarsdale (Vernon Hills Shopping Center)
  • Ithaca (Pyramid Mall)
  • Saratoga Springs
  • Wappingers Falls (Nine Mall Plaza)

Those stores are expected to close by the end of April of this year.

The closure of the Fort Lee Borders will likely have people going to the Barnes & Noble at Edgewater Commons off River Road in Edgewater or the Barnes & Noble at Riverside Square in Hackensack (yes, I know the mall changed its name to The Shops at Riverside, but it sounds snotty).

I have no idea what either the Fort Lee or Paramus stores will be replaced by.

For those who were customers of  Paramus store, they might either go to the Barnes & Noble on Route 17 South (between Linwood Avenue and Ridgewood Avenue) or the Barnes & Noble in Hackensack.

Now, news isn’t all good on the Barnes & Noble front, at least not for its customers. The Nook e-reader has been making quite the inroads against amazon.com’s Kindle and other e-readers. But Barnes & Noble did recently (and quite unfortunately) close their flagship Manhattan Lincoln Triangle store. That really stinks. It was a great place to just hang out if you arrived really early for a movie at the AMC Loews / IMAX just up Broadway. It is being replaced by a Century 21. I’m not knocking Century 21. It’s a great department store. My parents and I love the one in Paramus, though my parents once went to the one in Morristown and were not impressed.

– Evan Bindelglass

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