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Waldenbooks (often referred as Waldens), operated by the Walden Book Company, Inc., is an American shopping mall-based bookstore chain. The Walden Book Company is a subsidiary of Borders Group. Currently, there are 370 Waldenbooks stores in malls across the United States. They also ran a video game and software chain under the name Walden Software as well as a children's edutainment chain under Walden Kids.


On March 4, 1933, Lawrence Hoyt decided to open a rental library in Bridgeport, Connecticutmarker. 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 book selling 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 its Waldenbooks and Borders which formed 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 Exchangemarker.

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.


  1. Borders Group Media Relations. Borders Group Inc. Media Relations FAQs. Retrieved December 5, 2004.

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