Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm.

What’s going to fill all those empty Borders stores?

Borders Palo Alto (cc) Rebecca Williamson via Flickr

The big difference between Borders going out of business and Circuit City going out of business is that Borders is going to leave behind a lot of higher-end retail space in places with foot traffic.

I immediately think of the big Borders at the Time Warner Center in New York, the one on University Ave. in Palo Alto, etc. (The huge Borders on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, where I used to browse overpriced CDs in the 90s, closed last year.)

It’s going to be interesting to see what takes their places. While a few locations may appeal to Barnes & Noble, it’s not like they are particularly in growth mode. And it’s not like Amazon or Netflix are going to set up shop.

Microsoft and Apple are both potential candidates, as they continue to expand their retail networks, depending on the quality of the location. But I suspect we’ll probably see a variety of new stores filling old Borders locations, rather than any single chain.