George Jones, Borders President and CEO
For some reason, I've never felt as "comfortable" in a Borders bookstore as I usually feel in a Barnes & Noble store, but this new Borders concept does sound interesting...and the first of the new stores is opening right now near the Borders corporate headquarters.
Want to publish your own book, but don't know how? There's a kiosk in the store's new digital center that walks you through it....
The store also features a digital center where people can make custom CDs with the help of Borders employees or on their own from a library with 2.4 million songs. They also can buy digital cameras and learn how to turn their digital photos into books.
The store, the first of 14 concept stores that will open in key markets around the country this year, is critical to the Ann Arbor-based bookseller's turnaround. The store on Lohr near Ann Arbor-Saline Road opens today with a grand opening on Feb. 22....
"We will open these first stores and see how they do," said George Jones, Borders chief executive officer.
Borders also is stocking merchandising in new ways. For example, magazines on cooking will be found with the cookbooks in a new cooking section at the center of the store. Yoga mats are in the wellness section along with diet, fitness and medical books. And while waiting to pay for your books, Borders has an array of merchandise along the line from coffee table books to stationery sets and candy.Sounds like a bit of fun and something that I would take a look at for sure. Whether or not this is the kind of bookstore that would keep me coming back depends solely on the book selection offered, however...not on expensive coffee or self-produced CDs. I hope that Borders does not lose sight of the fact that its primary product is the written word, not a bunch of bells and whistles.
"We're not selling anything you have to have. If you are here, it is because you have decided to spend some of your valuable recreation time with us," Jones said.
Borders will capitalize on unique content such as author interviews or concerts to be shown on Borders TV in the store and on its Web site.