(often called Waldens
), operated by the Walden Book Company, Inc., is an American shopping mall
chain. The Walden Book Company is a subsidiary of Borders Group
. Currently, there are 564 Waldenbooks stores in malls across the United States.
On March 4
, Lawrence Hoyt decided to open a rental library in Bridgeport, Connecticut
. Within fifteen years it had grown to over 250 locations. In 1962
he decided to open a bookstore, and in 1981
it became the first bookstore to have stores in every state. For a time it was owned by the retail conglomerate Carter Hawley Hale
. Over the past several decades Waldenbooks has earned itself a rather specialized niche in retail bookselling by locating almost exclusively inside shopping malls, and are known for being a mall bookseller today.
In 1984 Waldenbooks was acquired by Kmart. That year it acquired the Brentano's chain. In 1994, Kmart sold Waldenbooks to Borders to form the Borders-Walden Group. In 1995 the renamed Borders Group was able to buy back its stock and it was listed independently on the New York Stock Exchange.
Since 2004, many Waldenbooks locations have been re-branded as "Borders Express" stores. Borders Group has also announced that it is downsizing the Waldenbooks chain to respond to the current competitive environment. It will close underperforming locations and make changes—such as product mix, store design and others--to remaining locations.