HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — Bookstore chain Books-A-Million Inc. is changing its previously announced plans for a former Borders location in Mays Landing, opting to sell new books instead of used ones there.
The Alabama-based retailer considered the Wrangleboro Road store for a 2nd & Charles, its brand that sells and buys used books and a relatively new company venture with a handful of locations nationwide.
However, the company changed its mind after feedback and comments during the past several weeks from South Jersey residents requesting a traditional megastore, Books-A-Million spokeswoman Jane Hoerner said.
The 20,000-square-foot location will be a superstore Books-A-Million, selling new books and offering coffee at its Joe Muggs café, said Hoerner, who said the company intends to open well before Christmas.
“One of the things we heard a lot from people in the Mays Landing community is how much they were yearning for a traditional, premier bookstore. After hearing everything in the community, we decided to listen,” she said.
Books-A-Million operates more than 230 stores across the country and plans to increase that number to more than 250 following a wave of new openings, including a smaller 2,700-square-foot location at the Cumberland Mall in Vineland that opened last week. A ribbon cutting at the mall store will be held midafternoon Friday.
The chain has also been scooping up retail space previously occupied by Borders, its once-larger rival that liquidated all its stores in bankruptcy this year.
This left vacancies at commercial properties throughout the country, including Mays Landing.
Books-A-Million stores opened in more than 30 former Borders locations in November, including in South Dakota, Maine and Wisconsin, Hoerner said.
Hoerner said she couldn’t put a finger on how many comments the company received since announcing the used bookstore concept in Atlantic County in November.
She said comments were received through e-mails, customer service phone numbers and employees on the ground.
This will be Books-A-Million’s fourth location in New Jersey and its first superstore in the state. Smaller locations are in Cherry Hill, Camden County, and Paramus, Bergen County.
In Mays Landing, the company will hire about 40 employees, she said.
The local Borders, which had opened in 1997, had its last day on Sept. 15.
Hoerner said the new Books-A-Million will look at least somewhat familiar to patrons of the former Borders in Mays Landing.
“Customers will see a little of a resemblance, and we want them to have that sense of similarity,” she said. “We still have work to do to get our inventory in there. One of the bigger changes is putting in a Joe Muggs cafe.”
Location: 2200 Wrangleboro Road, Mays Landing
Owner: One of more than 230 stores of Books-A-Million Inc., of Birmingham, Ala.
Started: New store to open Dec. 9; corporation founded in 1917
Employees: 40 at new store
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