Books And The City

Borders committed to opening urban bookstores in Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit join Washington, other cities.
June 15, 2004, 10am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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"Borders Group Inc. is becoming an urban pioneer. The book retailer is opening stores in Chicago, San Francisco and Detroit in once-devastated retail areas or in commercial or industrial areas that have never had places to shop. The Detroit store opened on the ground floor of Compuware Corp.’s new world headquarters amid shuttered storefronts and empty buildings -- many of them under renovation. Urban locations are not always an easy sell, especially for large stores similar to Borders that rely on roomy parking lots. But Ann Arbor-based Borders, the country’s second-largest bookseller, has 50 stores in urban settings out of 480. Alex Lelli, vice president of development, said urban stores are big contributors to the Borders’ profits. Detroit’s store, which opened in November, has exceeded sales expectations, though the company won’t provide sales figures. It’s too early to say how well the stores in Chicago and San Francisco are doing. Lelli said the newest stores are opening in places that aren’t obvious -- Borders is looking for areas where redevelopment looks like it’s going to take off. 'We hopefully make that decision at the right time,' he said."

Thanks to Richard Layman

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Published on Saturday, June 12, 2004 in The Detroit News
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