The Borders Group has announced that starting in January it will begin closing approximately 200 Waldenbooks stores, which will leave about 130 of the mall-based locations open. The closings will result in the termination of some 1,500 jobs, the majority of which are part-time positions. The closings are targeted exclusively at the mall-based Waldenbooks stores. None of the Borders superstores or the company’s seasonal mall kiosks will be affected by the closings.
The surviving Waldenbooks outlets will be integrated into the Border Superstore computer system in order to provide operating efficiencies as well as additional services to those who shop at the mall-based stores.
This latest round of closings of Waldenbooks stores accelerates a trend that has been growing since 2001. The Borders Group closed an average of 66 Waldenbooks outlets per year from 2001to 2007 and 112 Waldenbooks locations in fiscal 2008. In 2007 the Borders Group announced that it was reducing the number of Waldenbooks outlets from 560 stores to around 300 (see “Borders Group to Close Over 250 Waldenbooks Stores”). Now the 330 or so remaining Waldenbooks stores will be reduced to 130.