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Bookstore To Expand Fourth Time

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¢ .
Fourth Tune-_ ~
Business-Labor Reporter V
The rapidly /growing Borders Book
Shop will be moving to 'a new location
which will eventually provide five times
the space of the present facility at 316 S.
State. _ , 1 ‘g
Oper§l:37llsD ihYth , clothing store at 303 ‘S. State are schedul-
ed to begin in mid-November. For sever-
al weeks both book stores will be open.
Thenew location will be the fourth one
in less than four years for the book shop
which has a variety of specialized books.
Each time Louis and Thomas Borders
have expanded their space substantially. ”
Louis said people have started consid-
ering Ann Arbor a book town like`Chi-
cago, New York and Boston. People have
been coming to Borders from such
places as Detroit, Lansing and Toledo,
_ hevsaid. ` _y»p ' A
;Before they,began"theiFfHfst ebusiness?"
' venture in 1971, the Borders brothers re-`
ceived advice not to open a bookstore in'
Ann Arbor since at that time one store
f had .closed and several others were on
the verge of it. Robert Marshall closed
his book shopiin the spring of 1970. The
second oldest bookstore in Ann Arbor,
Slater's closed in April, 1972 after 56
years. Then in August, '1972 Wahr’s, the
oldest local bppkstore was sold to the
1 Borders brothers. Wahr’s was opened in
1890. .'
_ One of the keys to the good business at
Borders is that the store has stayed away
from textbooks, Louis said. There are no
required books, he said. '
-The opening of the University Cellar
book store' in the Michigan 'Union a few
, years ago cut into the textbook business
. of most of the local book stores and was
one of the reasons cited for the closing of
Slater’s and Wahr’s. 1
Louis said, “We keep a very -broad
_stock of books. We specialize in every-
thing. People think if there is a book on
. the subject we have it.” Borders has ma-
ny books on art, history and literature,
and the store has such sections as Latin ’
#American Literature and Russian liters- -_
ture, Louis noted._,I~Ie,said’Qthe present” ‘
store is__ weak on' children’s books but
there are plans to expand in that area., _
The book shop on the second floor of
211 S. State was the first _business ven-
ture for both the _brothers Neither one
had a degree in business administration
and only Louis had worked in a book-
store previously, one year while he was
in -graduate school in Boston. A $5,000
loan from a friend got them started.. “We
made a lot of mistakes. But fwe were for-1
tunate to have.good book buyers. And my
brother provided good management,”
~ Louis said. ' '
After five months the book shop was “
moved to a building at`5l8 E. William
which was more than three times as
large. The firm ' stayed. in the 800-
square-foot_ facility from August, 1971, to
/1 August, 1972, when it was moved to the
Wahr’s bookstore at 316 S. _State and
_ more than doubled it’s space to approx-
imately 2,000 -square feet. `
' Louis said it is not definite yet about
what type of business will go into the 316
S. State location but several people are
interested. He said thefB0rders. reloca-
5 1 tion. sale will continue there until Decem- _
' ber. 5 `
At the new location at 303 S. State
there will be three floors of books within
a year in more than 10,000 square feet of
space, according to Louis.1But when the
book shop opens in November, approx-
imately 6,000 square feet of space will be
_ utilized, he said. Louis said the store
across the street wasetoo jammed, so
‘ more square footage was needed. But al-
so more frontage on the street level was
needed because “we have to have more
front space than the normal bookstore,”
he said. _
Louis said it does not matter how ma-‘
' ny bookstores there are in a town. Places
like Chicago have a_1ot of bookstores that
\ compete against each other but they also
benefit from each other’s customer traf-
fic, he said. _
But Louis said he did not see another
book shop like Borders _coming to Ann
Arbor.,The economics of buying, the cost
and time of ordering, are substantial, he