This used to be my favorite book store in Austin but over the past year it has gone WAY down. I would rather go a little farther to the B&N and pay more for my books than go here anymore. There are NEVER employees when you need them. We were in this past weekend and they had THREE employees FOR THE ENTIRE STORE (not counting cafe, which I will get to shortly). One at the registers, one manager I saw only once floating around, and someone ""working"" the information desk. Their stock is now HORRIBLE. I went in not wanting anything in particular, but had a list five books I'd been meaning to pick up, so I was going to decide between them. THEY HAD NONE. Out of the five books I wanted, they didn't have a single one! There are tons of bare spaces in their shelves, so maybe they just did a big inventory or something, I don't know. But it's frustrating to go in a book store with five various options and leave empty handed, especially when you can get NONE of their three employees to help you. I know it's not the employee's fault that their store is understaffed, so I make a point to never be rude. However it is the manager's (or maybe his manager's) fault. It's a weekend and you schedule three employees? Seriously? I've also had a few bad experiences with one of the female managers, but when I asked an employee recently they said she moved to one of the South Austin stores a few months back. Good riddance!
I decided to drown my sorrows in a cup of Seattle's Best coffee since my book expo was a bust. I walk up... and there is no one there. I wait for about two or three full minutes (no lie) and finally see a girl sitting on a stool in their back room texting. Not paying any attention that there is now a line formed behind me, just sitting... texting away without a care in the world. Honey, jobs are hard to come by these days! Even if you don't want to be there, at least make an effort or leave so somebody else can be hired in your place! When she (her name tag said Ashely, I believe) finally noticed us, she looked none too happy to make my cup of coffee (which involves getting a cup and putting coffee in it, mind you. Not a hard job, being an exbarista myself). I go to sit down with my coffee, the tables are a mess with plates, food, etc. I'm not sure if this is the barista's job or not, but either way it was gross.
So long story short, Borders I have loved you and your fabulous coupons for a long time. However you will no longer be getting my business. I'll be shopping at Amazon from now on with the occasional ventures to B&N for my book store fixes. Customers beware!!!
Pros: Good coffee
Cons: Short staffed, horrible inventory