Monday, April 4, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
Autopsy result? Death by Kindle
Inside the Borders bookstore at The District in Tustin on Sunday afternoon, the excited middle-aged customer pointed at what he wanted to buy.
But it wasn't a best-seller or a magazine or DVDs.
The man told a store clerk he wanted to purchase two rows of massive book shelves, and he didn't care that the shelves were almost entirely empty of books--books that were selling for a whopping 60 percent off retail prices.
He just wanted the shelves, and the clerk, for the right price, was willing to part with what every bookstore must have.
Without shelves, a bookstore is obviously in trouble. But employees at this Borders don't care anymore. The company is closing the once-popular store sometime this month.
A handwritten sign placed on the store's entrance doors bitterly answers that question:
"Need a restroom? Use Amazon's."
A cashier told me the online book seller helped cause Borders to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year.
"We can't compete with [Amazon.com's] prices," she said. "And this new era of electronic book readers such as the Kindle and the Nook is changing everything. People don't feel the need to drive to the bookstore like they used to do."
While the Borders at The Block in Orange is also closing, other Orange County outposts--such as the one at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa--will remain open for the foreseeable future.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly