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Borders No. 1, original Ann Arbor store, is scheduled to close on Monday

After 40 years in business, Borders No. 1, the company’s original Ann Arbor store, is scheduled to close on Monday, CNN reports. There was recently a sign taped to No. 1’s front door. It said, “Now Hiring: Apply Online at” It was serious — the liquidators needed to hire part-time help — but it seemed like a sick joke.

By the mid-1980s, the Borders brothers were eyeing expansion. The second Borders was in Birmingham, Michigan, in Detroit’s northern suburbs, about an hour’s drive from Ann Arbor.

But during the ’90s, the future looked rosy. Borders grew and grew, second only to Barnes & Noble. There was a Borders in Singapore. There was a Borders in the World Trade Center. The stock price flew high. At its peak there were more than 1,200 Borders and Waldenbooks stores, employing more than 30,000 people. Where did it go wrong?

In fact, new technology began haunting the once-cutting-edge store. In 1998, Borders created a website but three years later handed its online business to Amazon; by the time Borders decided to reclaim its web presence in 2008, it had fallen far behind its competitors. Borders also was late to e-book readers, finally partnering with a Canadian company for its Kobo reader — well after Amazon’s Kindle and B&N’s Nook took over the market.