Borders to take 24-hour hiatus from Windward Mall
THE Borders Express e-mail was only momentarily shocking. The Windward Mall Borders Express will close July 24, it said.
Gasp! Oh wait, we've known that was coming.
The e-mail did offer alternate locations -- including Borders at Windward Mall, due to open late this month.
It will open July 26, said Kolleen O'Meara, public relations specialist with Mich.-based Borders Group Inc.
The mall's single day without Borders is just how the construction schedule wound up, she said.
It will be below the Regal Cinemas multiplex, in part of the space vacated by J.C. Penney in 1998*. Kamaaina shoppers will remember that Borders Express is in part of the 20,000 square feet vacated by Woolworth Corp. in 1994, three years before it announced the closure of all 400 U.S. stores, including Hawaii's remaining 13.
Borders Express employees, and O'Meara didn't divulge a count, were offered transfers to the new space and the company wants to hire 20 to 22 more employees, who can apply online.
Borders' grand opening festivities won't come until August 18, after the mall's 25th anniversary celebration the previous weekend. Borders is sponsoring the Ohana Concert featuring Hapa at 6 p.m. Aug. 10 as part of the mall party.
Another reason to celebrate? The mall is about 93 percent leased, said General Manager Jonathan Kim.
The new 22,000 square foot Borders dwarfs the 8,025-square-foot Borders Express, and 2,000 square feet of it will be a Starbucks Cafe, Kim said.
Mainland Borders feature Seattle's Best Coffee cafes -- but Starbucks bought that competitor in 2003 anyway.
Borders' four bricks-and-mortar concepts are, Borders, Borders Express, Borders Outlet and Waldenbooks, but Hawaii only has the first two. Hawaii's Waldenbooks were the first to be rebranded as Borders Express, in 2004.
Borders Express "are really our mall stores ... while Borders superstores are much bigger," offering more features, titles, music, its Paperchase stationery and gifts lines as well as the cafes, O'Meara said.
Borders will be joined in the theater wing by the Children's Place, a New Jersey-based retailer that will occupy 6,000 square feet. It has stores at Ala Moana Center and Waikele Premium Outlets and is in the process of getting building permits for the Windward store, Kim said.
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