A bookstore chain
By The Associated Press — After 40 years of selling books, it looks like Borders is preparing for its final chapter. The chain on Thursday is expected to seek court approval to be sold to liquidators. If the judge approves the move, liquidation sales and store closings could start as soon as Friday.
Borders filed for bankruptcy protection in February after being hurt by competition from online booksellers and discounters. The chain had hoped to successfully emerge from bankruptcy protection by the fall as a smaller company. But pressure from creditors and lenders eventually led the company to put itself up for sale.
Borders' attempt to stay alive unraveled last week after a $215 million bid by a private-equity firm dissolved under objections from creditors and lenders. They argued the chain would be worth more if it liquidated immediately.
Now the chain's remaining 399 stores could be shuttered by September. Borders currently has 10,700 employees.
Those who have Borders' e-reader, the Kobo, will still be able use Kobo software to buy and read books. Kobo officials say users of Borders e-book accounts, which began transitioning to Kobo in June, will be able to access their e-books uninterrupted.
Tom and Louis Borders opened their first Borders store in 1971, selling used books in Ann Arbor. In 1973, the store moved to a larger location and shifted its focus to selling new books and expanding, helping pioneer the big-box bookstore concept along with Barnes & Noble Inc.
At its peak, in 2003, Borders operated 1,249 Borders and Waldenbooks.
By the time it filed for bankruptcy protection in February that had fallen to 642 stores and 19,500 employees. Since then, Borders has shuttered more stores and laid off thousands.