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Borders at Legacy Place to close; 30 to lose jobs

Posted by Sarah Favot  July 21, 2011 10:00 AM

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Thirteen months after it opened, Borders at Legacy Place will close along with all of the other 399 Borders locations across the country, according to Borders officials. 

The nation’s second-largest bookstore chain will soon begin to liquidate all of its assets and all locations will close by the end of September, pending a federal bankruptcy court hearing scheduled for today, according to a press release from Borders Group and spokeswoman Mary Davis. 

Dedham’s Borders opened in June 2010 as one of Legacy Place’s anchor stores. It is the third-largest store of the 14 locations in Massachusetts, after the School Street location in Boston and a location in Methuen. 

Davis said the store employs 30 full-time and part-time employees. 

The Legacy Place location manager Chris Cayer said employees are anxious about finding new employment, but he said other retailers have begun recruiting employees. 

“We’ve been receiving numerous calls from other retailers,” said Cayer in an interview. “People are lining up to talk to folks.” 

Cayer attributes the company’s bankruptcy filing as a result of managers’ failure to adapt to a changing industry. 

“It is the result of poor decisions made by upper management for years and years,” said Cayer. 

This spring, Borders closed about 200 stores nationwide and nine stores in Massachusetts. 

Cayer said the closing of the store will create a hole in the community not only as a place where customers browsed for books, but also where community groups, like a knitting club and runners club, met. 

Cayer said liquidation would start on Friday and would last about six to eight weeks. 

Some customers at the store on Wednesday afternoon expressed disappointment about no longer being able to shop at a large bookstore nearby. 
 
Mike Jasko, of West Roxbury, said he would come into Borders whenever he was at Legacy Place. 

“It’s kind of nice to hang out in bookstores and poke around,” he said. “But these days it’s less and less that you can do that, because there are less bookstores around.” 

Antonette Horacio, who was buying a Harry Potter book for her 9-year-old son, said she preferred to shop at Borders and would miss the store’s customer service. 

“There’s something about Borders that sets them apart,” said Horacio, of Canton. 

Reading a textbook and sitting in the bookstore’s café, Ronny Gardiner said he would frequent the store about twice a week to study or shop and now he would have to find another place to visit. 

“I didn’t want to hear that,” he said when he found out the store would be closing. 

Karen O’Connell, the town’s economic development director, said she was confident in WS Development’s ability to fill the soon-to-be vacant retail space. 

“Certainly in Legacy Place the key strength of the whole development is its retail mix,” said O’Connell in an interview. “Their forte is finding the right mix of tenants.” 

The 25,000-square-foot space is the fifth-largest retail space in Legacy Place and is considered an anchor location, with high visibility from Route 1. 

A WS Development spokesman said yesterday afternoon he could not comment on the store’s closing. 

Sarah Favot can be reached at sarah.yourtown@gmail.com.

For more news, follow us on Twitter @Dedhamupdate.

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