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Globe Corner to Emerge from Chapter 11
Judith Rosen -- 6/5/00

Pat Carrier, president of Globe Corner Bookstore, Boston, Mass., announced that after two and a half years in Chapter 11, the travel bookstore company is about to file a reorganization plan. At its height, Globe Corner had three locations, including one in the historic Globe Corner building in downtown Boston. Today it has been reduced to only one store, in Harvard Square, Cambridge, which it opened in 1988.

Much of Globe Corner's problems arose not from Internet or chain bookstore competition but from the city of Boston's failure to revitalize the downtown. In fact, the company welcomed the opening of a nearby Borders downtown, which it hoped would increase foot traffic.

However, it could not wait indefinitely for the downtown to come back and in April 1997, Globe Corner closed its downtown store. Six months later, the company filed for Chapter 11, and a year after that, entered into negotiations to sell the lease to its prominently positioned Back Bay location. It took a year and a half to complete the sale, and the Back Bay store was closed last December.

Carrier, a past president of the New England Booksellers Association, continues to be optimistic about the long-term future of Globe Corner. "We are actively starting to look for other locations," he told PW. "We're basically looking on three fronts--Back Bay, although I think that will be the hardest since real estate is so intense; downtown, although we have no real desire to go back; and the suburbs. The economics start to drive you that way. In Boston, we've yet to look at a space that's under $80 per square foot."

In addition to increasing its physical presence in Greater Boston, Globe Corner plans to continue to expand its Web site (www.globecorner.com), which it opened in 1995. "The site's quite active in terms of visitors," noted Carrier, "and the sales side

has been growing steadily."
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