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Borders.com will upgrade site behind closed doors

The bookseller is taking the weekend to overhaul its e-commerce site by upgrading its search engine and checkout process and increasing editorial content.

Borders.com is taking the weekend to overhaul its popular books and music e-commerce site.

Borders.com, the Net division of the Borders Group and the third-largest bookseller online, today said it will close its site beginning at 6 p.m. EST on Friday and will reopen sometime Monday morning. During that time, the company will upgrade its search engine and checkout process and complete a redesign of the site, the company said. Borders.com also will increase its editorial content.

"The enhanced site is based on the idea of customer choice," Tami Heim, newly appointed Borders.com president, said in a statement. "Customer feedback, which we have aggressively solicited since the debut of Borders.com, was a key driver of the changes we've made."

The site redesign follows increased efforts by the book giant to integrate its offline and online business. In the last six months, the company has started to tie its 290 offline stores across the United States more closely to its Web site.

The company is currently installing Net-enabled kiosks, called Title Sleuths, in Borders' stores. Using the kiosks, customers can access a store's database to learn what titles are available and if a certain book isn't available in the store, the Title Sleuth searches Borders' fulfillment center, which supports online and offline stores.

As part of the site overhaul, Borders.com will no longer require customers to register before they move through the order process or check out. Borders will continue to offer customers the option of storing their shipping and credit information online for easy retrieval.