Borders’ newest concept store has its grand opening in the Pier Park shopping center in Panama City this weekend.
Why genealogists might care: Besides the fact that Borders also sells my book, Genealogy Online 8th Edition, it has a Digital Center with multiple computer kiosks and stations dedicated to new services including music and book downloading. Also, customers interested in tracing their roots can access “Borders Genealogy Services” provided by Ancestry.com, and because many Borders customers are authors looking to publish their own work, such as a genealogy, the Digital Center also includes “Borders Personal Publishing” powered by Lulu.com. Some customer-written books may eventually be sold in Borders stores (so your cousins can BUY your genealogy book!) and some customer authors could even host in-store signings. Photos are important to many genealogies, so you can use “Borders Custom Photo Books” for special projects featuring family and friends. That would top off the family reunion!
Throughout the Digital Center, there are seats at the various computer stations where customers are encouraged to sit and take their time working on their projects. Importantly, Borders knows that not all customers are computer experts, so the company is staffing the Digital Center with trained, dedicated personnel ready to guide customers of any technical level through the process to achieve their project goals.
“The opening of our initial concept store in Ann Arbor generated tremendous media attention including major stories in national newspapers and on television. We’ve had scores of retail executives from other companies, store designers, shopping center developers and publishers coming from around the nation to see the new store, as it truly is a breakthrough retail concept. It has been a huge success and customers love it,” said Borders Group Chief Executive Officer George Jones. “We’ve stayed true to what our customers have always loved about Borders — deep and intelligent selection, knowledgeable staff, and a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. Yet, we’ve brought a fresh new look and an exciting interactive dimension to the store with a Digital Center where customers can do everything from mix and make their own custom CDs, download books and music, publish their own books, explore their family history, and create photo books-all without being computer experts because we have trained people there to help every step of the way,” he said.
“Overall, this new concept store is a key part of our long-term strategic plan. We set out to differentiate Borders and give customers a reason to choose us over other retailers and we’ve achieved that goal spectacularly with this new concept store. And, once we’ve launched the new Borders.com, we’ll be able to truly deliver on our cross-channel retail strategy including the option for customers to access the site in our stores to view wish lists and conveniently order from millions of titles for delivery to their homes within two days. I’m proud of what we’ve created and I’m thrilled with the way customers have embraced it.”