Following on the heels of the end of the Borders bookstore chain, Books-A-Million is closing a series of its stores.
Relax, Rocky Mount bibliophiles, the store here is not on the list. But readers in Wilson won’t be happy to hear their store at 2420 Forest Hills Road W. is among those to be closed.
The actual list of stores to be closed is something of a secret, at least as far as BAM sees it. Individual newspaper reports found through a Google search show closings as far away as Tupelo, Miss., Columbus, Ga., Macon, Ga., Florence, S.C., and Roanoke, Va. Closer to home, the chain is shuttering stores in Asheville, Greensboro, Fayetteville and Raleigh. (The Raleigh location is at 7221 Sandy Forks Road).
The company, however, was not so forthcoming.
“Our official response is going to have to be no comment,” Jeff Skipper, vice president for marketing, said in a telephone interview.
“I think an official no comment from the organization should be enough,” he said.
(In his defense, I have to say Skipper sounded as if he was more apologetic than mean-spirited about not talking about the matter.)
There is a ray of good news for the Birmingham, Ala.-based company. It is opening new stores, Skipper said. However, he again would not go into details.
Published reports said that BAM had been interesting in acquiring 35 locations from Borders. When the corporate dust settled, the deal was for leases on 14 stores.
One difference is clear between Borders and BAM’s closings: BAM is wasting no time. The Wilson and Raleigh stores close Saturday. The first report of the Raleigh closing was in Friday’s edition of The News & Observer. I learned of the Wilson closing Saturday through two staffers at the BAM in Rocky Mount.
Borders locations, on the other hand, went through long going-out-of-business sales with tiered discounting as weeks past.
Again, Skipper declined to comment on the reason.
Ross Chandler is Life editor of the Rocky Mount Telegram.