This isn’t a shocker, but according to an article in the Wall Street Journal (which has been reprinted all over the place, including the San Francisco Chronicle), Borders plans to close another 200 of its Waldenbooks stores, leaving a paltry 130 remaining in the chain. Despite what the article says, it’s unlikely even those are long for this world.
In an era where the long tail of content is well-served online, Borders and Barnes & Noble have survived by positioning themselves as cultural and social gathering spaces. Plus, the stores are big, so they can carry a lot of titles. Waldenbooks and B. Dalton–who B&N is closing up at the same time–have no such luck. These tiny stores were always meant to bring a representative selection of literature to shopping malls and small towns, and like record stores before them, there’s just no need anymore.
It’s still a little sad, since I have plenty of fond memories of shopping at the Waldenbooks in my local mall when I was young.