∞ Borders to close all remaining stores

Borders, which employs about 10,700 people, scrapped a bankruptcy-court auction scheduled for Tuesday amid the dearth of bids.The chain said it will ask a judge Thursday to approve a sale to liquidators led by Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group.

Very sad to see Borders close for good, but the company dug its own grave when it stopped doing one thing well – selling books – and started doing several things poorly (selling DVDs, audio CDs, stuffed toys, coffee, pastries, games, etc.). It’ll be interesting to see how Barnes & Noble continues to manage its transition to e-books, which it says are selling quite well (thanks to its own branded Nook devices).

  • I’m sad to see any bookstore close.

  • Anonymous

    This sucks. I don’t go to bars, I go to bookstores. You can’t smell the books on Amazon, and I don’t do Kindle.

  • obiwandreas

    My wife used to be a huge Borders fan, until one day she received a notification that she had $5 worth of rewards to use, which was going to expire that day.  She placed a large number of books in her online shopping cart, but the website couldn’t complete the transaction the entire day.  The next day, Borders sent out an apology letter, saying they were overwhelmed by the traffic.  The reward, however, was expired and they did not think to extend the single day for those who missed the deadline due to their failure; that’s the sort of thing that any competent business would do.  She emptied her shopping cart, and bought all the books on Amazon.  After being told “We screwed up, but you’re out of luck,” we decided they were not worth bothering with again.

    This is not a tragedy.  This is what economist Walter Williams refers to as freeing up resources for more productive sectors of the economy.

    • silencets

      True….but it is also one less place where I can venture to buy a new book at a decent price.

      No competition for B&N could lead to stagnation of their retail product.

      PS: Books-A-Million does not count as competition.  You don’t equate a Apple store with a Radioshack.

  • Okay, I have to be the one to say it. When do the STORE CLOSING sales start?

  • Having run a bookstore for 10 years, people really need to listen to why this keeps happening. It’s a simple case that the brick and mortar business model no longer works because the amount of media (books, music, video) has grown exponentially over the last 25 years.  It’s not profitable for physical stores to stock so much content in the hopes they’ll guess correctly what people want, and they never do, selling very little.  And it’s salt on the wound when the costs for sending unsold media back has also increased sharply eating up your profits.  

    People don’t realize that Borders lasted longer than it would have BECAUSE it diversified its product mix a little. But the internet saved the day, and a more optimal model came along where there are just a few multi-acre warehouses that stockpile an incredible selection of books, music and video you can order electronically.  You’ll still be able to paw through media, but only in stores that sell other things as well.  B&N will be able to survive for a while being the only one left standing, but not forever. Eventually it will go the way of Blockbuster and Tower Records.

    Few people listen to this explanation.  And I rarely hear anyone mention anything other than “It’s sad another bookstore is closing” without trying to help people understand why.

  • Rob

    Im waiting for the day people get ‘tired’ of frequenting the same old same old chain restaurants that are the same all over a particular locale.  People wont bitch over the overpriced menu items served up on a daily basis…cuz they gotsa to be with their frrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnddddddddsssssssss!  Changing of the guard changing of priorities….too bad

  • Video killed the radio star. Horses ruined by cars. Microwave dinners over cooking. Evolution ladies and gentleman. Sad, nope not at all. We are progressing. Be happy. Beside, books use trees, trees eat CO2, CO2 is apparently the death of the world. There’s a positive to this story.

  • MariJoy

    I was a diehard Borders fan, where else could I get 20-40% off in a brick-and-mortar store without having it cost ME upfront (ie B&N)? I was so sad to see my neighborhood Borders liquidate, I would purposely take another route – it’s honestly like attending the slow demise of an old friend. For me, there is nothing, NOTHING like the tactile sensation of holding a real book in ones hands, the heft of it, the sheer is-ness…sigh. I’ll never give up my books, not until they pry the last one from my cold, dead hands.