“Everything Must Go!”
“If you don’t buy it today, there’s a good chance it will be gone tomorrow!”
“Everything 30% to 50% Off List Price!”
These neon colored signs and many others hang from the ceiling and bookshelves. The café seating has been dismantled and stacked, and half-stocked shelves are sprinkled throughout the store. Once an anchor of the downtown area, the Fairfield Borders store on the Boston Post Road will soon be closing its doors forever.
When Borders originally filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 16, the Fairfield chapter was not on the list of closing stores. Borders then announced in March that the Fairfield store had been added to this list.
Rich Murphy was one of the Fairfield Borders employees surprised by this abrupt change. “People might have suspected because the company was in talks with the landlords [of the store],and we knew Borders was adding more stores to the closing list.” said Murphy. “But still, officially hearing it was a shock.”
This shock echoed throughout the Fairfield community. “I was extremely surprised because it was always a very busy and successful store,” said Phoebe Wright, a high school senior and town resident. Wright is a regular customer at Borders, and she said she loved shopping there because of the helpful employees and well-stocked bookshelves.
“Borders was the center of town in Fairfield,” Wright said. “It was a coffee shop, where students could work or meet up with friends. It offered easy access to books, movies, magazines and plays at fair prices. With it closing, people will be out of work, and the center of town will be drastically changed.”
Town residents are not the only members of the Fairfield community who are sad to see the bookstore close. Fairfield University junior Kimberley Holiver often went to Borders on the weekend to finish homework and spend time off campus.
Upon hearing about the close of the Fairfield Borders, Holiver said, “My first reaction was, ‘Where am I going to go to study for finals?!’”
Holiver believes new technology is largely responsible for the decline of Borders and bookstores in general. “People no longer have a need for books with new technologies and devices such as the Kindle and iPad, where you can [buy] ebooks,” she said.
According to Murphy, the exact closing date of the Fairfield Borders is unknown. “It depends on how fast we sell our stock,” he said. “It’s not even a Borders decision anymore.”
In the meantime, customers will have to content themselves with large discounts on most–if not all–of the store’s merchandise.
“It’s sad to see this staple of the town go, but discounted book prices are always nice,” said Wright.
Still, the store will clearly be missed. As Wright said, “It sounds silly, but Borders was not just a chain in the center of town; it was a meeting place, a gift shop and a library. It will be very strange without it.”