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Borders Express Superstore Treatment Arrives for Mall Set

14 Jun, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

Borders hopes to snag mall shoppers and sharpen up the company brand with its new, snazzier shops, dubbed Borders Express, which will include a selection of DVDs and CDs.

Borders turned 37 Waldenbooks mall locations in the fourth quarter of last year into Borders Express stores, which feature a color scheme and store design more closely associated with the chain's standalone superstores. The chain added a multimedia element that also mirrors the company's bigger locations.

It's the first time the chain's mall stores have offered DVDs and CDs, said Borders spokesperson Beth Bingham. The stores will offer a rotating stock of 20 hot movies and music titles that span genres, she said.

Mall shoppers will get the feeling of a mini Borders superstore but still be able to find the book and magazine selection that has always been a staple of these locations.

“We look at it as a way to continue to provide the service and convenience of a Waldenbooks store but be able to leverage the Borders brand,” Bingham said.

By the end of this year, another 75 to 100 of the chain's 650 Waldenbooks locations will be converted to Borders Express stores, she said.

The company tested out the concept at a handful of locations last year — in Key West, Fla.; Portland, Ore.; Hawaii and Detroit — before redesigning and merchandising nearly 40 locations in the fourth quarter. So far, sales and feedback are encouraging, Bingham said.

The chain plans to incorporate Borders Superstore marketing strategies for the new mall-concept locations, including midnight openings and parties for high-profile releases, she added.

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