PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Some of the Borders bookstores in this region are likely to close if the company declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
“Very disappointing,” says Lori Kramer of Ben Avon. “I have three children and we’ve supported the store for 15 years and it’s going to be a definite loss.”
Kramer and her son Christian are regulars at Borders in Northway Mall. They’re not alone.
“I just like going in. It’s relaxing. I could spend the whole day there,” says Barbara Cleary of Shaler.
Five full-service stores operate in the North Hills, South Hills, East Liberty, Monroeville and the Pittsburgh Mills with Express stores in Butler, Greensburg, Hermitage and Monaca.
It is unknown which stores will close, but sources tell KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano that North Hills and Pittsburgh Mills stores are the most profitable in this area.
Bookstores — large and small — are hurting because of the popularity of e-books, like Kindle and Nook, which have cut sales of hardbacks and paperbacks.
The Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley is one of the few independent bookstores left in this area.
“It’s really unfortunate,” says Maryanne Eichorn, the store manager. “We’ve lost some wonderful bookstores and we’re hoping we can take up the slack.”
Eichorn says survival means keeping up with technology.
“We have to be a player in the game. We can’t just ignore it.”
So as more readers abandon the books on the bookshelves, Eichorn says, “Everything that’s available on our online site is available as an e-book. So you can buy e-books from your local store. You can still support your local store.”
Whether it’s the small independent bookstore or the large retailer like Borders and Barnes & Noble, some experts predict that in the next 10 years, 90 percent of bookshelves in America will be gone.