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Shoppers Pick Over Inventory As Borders Prepares To Close

Customers pick over the remnants at Chicago's last Borders store on Monday Sept. 12, 2011. (CBS)

Customers pick over the remnants at Chicago’s last Borders store on Monday Sept. 12, 2011. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The lines have been long outside Borders bookstores this week — very good business indeed — if the stores weren’t all going out of business.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody caught up with one shopper with an armload at 90 percent off at the Borders downtown flagship store at 150 N. State St., which is closing Wednesday.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports


Lynn Hill was in reader’s heaven Tuesday.

“Let’s see – I have a lot of books that I like because I just like to read stories, but I’ve got Under a Win: A Memoir by Reeve Lindbergh; Web of Dreams; a book of poems, which I love; Night Navigation,” Hill said.

What is Hill’s alternative now, with no more Borders?

“I would have to say the Internet,” she said. “The Internet – eBay; you’ll probably have to order your books, because there’s really no other place where you can go read, do your homework, or do the Web and all of that in one place. There are really not so many places other than Starbucks. But they don’t have books.”

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Borders is closing all of its remaining 399 stores this week.

In July, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved the liquidation of the company, and the retailer begins announced that its remaining stores would shut down for good.

RELATED: Is There Life After Borders For Empty Retail Buildings?

As recently as the beginning of this year, Borders operated eight Chicago stores, and several more in the suburbs. The oldest ones, at 830 N. Michigan Ave. on the Magnificent Mile and at 2817 N. Clark St. in the East Lakeview neighborhood, had been open for more than 15 years.

Many of the Borders stores, including the locations in the old Goldblatt’s building in Uptown and along the “Miracle Mile” of 95th Street in Beverly, were heralded as the catalysts for economic revitalization in their areas.

But all the city Borders locations except the State Street store, and most of the suburban locations, closed this spring when the company reorganized in Bankruptcy Court.