In early November, Borders (BGP) announced that it would close 200 of its 330 Waldenbooks stores by early January, cutting 1,500 jobs in the process. But with the new year approaching fast, the bookstore chain is changing its tune ever so slightly, and now plans to spare about 20 stores originally slated for the chopping block.In Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley, Palmer Park Mall manager Beth Samuelson told The Express-Times that store employees removed closing signs last week, and on Monday, corporate offices verified the decision to keep the store open. "It was a total surprise. All the signs saying: 'Store closing: Everything must go' all came down."
A Waldenbooks mall store in the East Texas town of Lufkin has also received a reprieve, according to The Lufkin Daily News. Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis did not give a reason, commenting only that the decision to keep that store open had been made during the past few days. (When reached for comment, Davis told DailyFinance, "We are not disclosing the reasons why these stores will remain open, but look forward to continuing to serve the many customers who have shopped at these locations.")
The news that some additional Waldenbooks are to stay open will be bittersweet for communities set to say goodbye to their local bookstores. When the Waldenbooks in Brockton, Mass., shuts down, it will leave the city without a general-interest bookstore. And in Waterloo, Iowa, where a Waldenbooks has been open continuously since 1971, customers like Lytishya Borglum of Cedar Falls told The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that the news of the Crossroads Mall store's impending closure was disappointing. "The staff here was always great, always ready to make a suggestion," she said.
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