Liquidation sale kicks off at Borders bookstores
HOUSTON The discounts started on Friday, but the target for closing these stores is September so prices have a long way to go before reaching mega-deal status. Business is booming at Borders book stores. From the moment the 'store closing' signs went up, the customers started pouring in and walking out with lots of full bags. "We got some mind puzzle, games, some books for the kids," one shopper said. The national chain is beginning the process of going out of business and while you may see signs claiming discounts of up to 40 percent, shoppers are finding the actual savings closer to 10 percent. "You probably have to wait, probably another mark down later on," shopper Karen Worthington said. That is the way of almost every liquidation sale, according to Monica Russo at the Houston Better Business Bureau. "What we see is that in a lot of cases is that they mark the prices up to full retail value and then they take the discounts. The discounts are not as big as you might think," Russo said. Russo says typically if one store sells a lot of merchandise while offering just a 10 percent discount, merchandise from other stores across the country will be sent here so the liquidators can maximize profit. "The funny thing is that you don't normally see the big discounts until maybe the last week," she said. Borders' CEO says the rise of e-readers and the turbulent economy played major roles in the chain's downfall. But some local book stores are still hanging on and even thriving, like the folks at Half Price Books, who say success boils down to two words. "Customer service," said Tyler Morris of Half Price Books, "treating our customers not like customers, but people in the community." If you have a Borders gift card, it will be honored through out the liquidation sale, if you are a member of the rewards program, those discounts end August 5. And if you have Borders bucks, they expire July 31. However, Books-A-Million is bidding on the leases of about 30 stores across the country, so you may see one or two stores change names.