Arts/Culture
11:05 am
Tue August 30, 2011

Books-a-Million to expand to Traverse City and 13 other locations

Update 9:30 a.m

Books-a-Million received the green light from a judge to take over 14 former Borders stores, including one in Traverse City. Publishers Weekly has the details on the deal:

Monday was a big day for Books-A-Million. The retailer won court approval to take over the leases of 14 Borders locations and also named Terry Finley president, succeeding Clyde Anderson who will remain chairman and CEO.

Late last week, BAM agreed to pay $934,000 to assume the Borders leases--if it received quick court approval--and expects to take over control of all locations no later than October 1. The new stores move BAM into some new states, including New England.

BAM’s new president has been a longtime employee of the company, joining BAM in 1992. Finley, who also adds the chief operating officer title, had been executive  v-p, chief merchandising officer.

BAM also appointed James F. Turner, v-p, real estate since 2003, to the position of executive v-p, real estate and business development.

August 29, 5:09 p.m

The bookstore chain Books-a-Million has its eye on expansion, now that Borders Books is no more.

Books-a-Million struck a deal to buy 14 former Borders locations, including one in Traverse City. The deal requires a bankruptcy court judge’s approval, which could come as early as today.

Michael Norris is with Simba Information, a firm that tracks the book industry. He hopes Books-a-Million applies the accelerator very lightly:

"I really want to believe that they have had expansion plans in place before Borders made the decision to liquidate. Because if they just think they can buy a handful of locations, run them on the cheap, and grow their business that way, they definitely have another thing coming."

Books-a-Million has 231 stores, mainly in the south. This deal, which costs about $935,000, will expand the chain’s presence in the Midwest and on the east coast.

The bookstore chain tried unsuccessfully to buy 30 Borders leases earlier this summer.

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