After struggling to compete in the digital market, the bookseller Borders filed for bankruptcy Tuesday and will close 200 of its 642 stores in the next few weeks. And that includes the location at Preston and Royal and in the West Village although not Old Town, which is one of Borders’ smaller stores.
In our February cover story on neighborhood retail trends, Advocate editor Keri Mitchell talked with real estate expert Ian Pierce of the The Weitzman Group. Here’s what he had to say this morning about Borders’ impending demise and what that means for future retail in the vacant storefronts at these high-traffic areas:
Borders has some great real estate in DFW, and both of these stores are highly visible and in the midst of strong tenant mixes. So there will be demand for them. There is the possibility that the spaces may be divided for multiple tenants, we’ve seen that happen quite a bit. Or there could be a user in that range of square footage looking for a space in what are essentially built-out areas. A vacancy like this is basically the only way a retailer can find a location in these trade areas.
I hate to see this happen, though. Borders was a great concept. It just got slammed by the digital age, and it made a big mistake early on by letting Amazon handle its web sales. They basically gave away their online customer base for a long time before they finally put up their own website.
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