When the 2011 holiday selling season begins in earnest around Thanksgiving, Books-A-Million will have more than 250 stores open as it completes the rebranding and re-opening of stores it took over from Borders. BAM! will move into 41 former Borders locations by mid-November, an expansion that will put the country’s second largest bookstore chain in eight new states—Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, and Wisconsin—and give the retailer a presence in a total of 31 states. It is also closing 21 outlets.

The new stores, like the one recently revamped in Pennsdale, Pa. (below), will operate under the BAM! (exclamation point included) banner, and in addition to books will sell “toys, tech, more.” Books-A-Million president Terry Finley said the company plans to emphasis the BAM! name going forward. While stores in different areas will have the merchandise mix tweaked, the basic offering will be the same—a Kids-A-Million section; a Faithpoint area featuring a selection of Bibles, Christian Living, and Christian Fiction; a display selling the Nook family of devices; and video games and DVDs. Finley noted that while BAM is expanding into some new territories, the demographic makeup of the cities it is moving into is close to that of the entire chain.