Books-A-Million announced late Monday that their effort to acquire 30 Borders stores “has ended unsuccessfully because the parties could not agree on terms and the going out of business sales at these locations commenced.” CEO Clyde Anderson said in the announcement “we worked exhaustively in an effort to acquire these stores and reach agreements with all of the parties whose consent was necessary. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful.”
BAMM will still take over at least a few vacating Borders locations, apparently through direct negotiations with the landlords. So far, the bookseller has had success with mall owners The Cafaro Company in particular. Announcements from the real estate company indicate that Books-A-Million will occupy Borders superstore spaces at the Huntington Mall outside of Huntington, WV, the Kennedy Mall in Dubuque, OH and the Sandusky Mall in Sandusky, OH later this year. All three were on the option list of five additional stores BAMM was considering beyond the 30 they formally offered on. (We’re just guessing on the Sandusky location; it was reported as “San Veste, OH,” which doesn’t seem to exist.)
Books-a-Million is taking over two other Cafaro-owned Borders Express spaces as well. They announced in mid-June that the chain would take over smaller spaces in Bridgeport/Clarksburg, WV and Erie, PA. Clearly BAMM and Cafaro have a good working relationship, since the real estate company also owns the mall in Fredericksburg, VA that houses the former Josepth-Beth Booksellers space that Books-a-Million agreed to occupy in April.
Separately, the Tennessee government has been formally notified of the closing of Borders’ La Vergne distribution center (located on Walden Books Drive) by September 1, eliminating 283 jobs.