Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Borders UK to close struggling Books Etc stores
By James Thompson in The Independent
Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Borders UK has confirmed it plans to remove the Books Etc and Borders Express brands from the high street. The bookseller – which in July completed a management buyout backed by the retail restructuring specialist Hilco – is trying to sell its remaining seven Books Etc shops and two smaller format Borders Express stores.

Books Etc has been a financial millstone around the neck of Borders UK for a number of years. The retailer's spokesman said: "I can confirm that our future strategy is single-brand." Earlier this month, Borders UK said it would close its Books Etc outlet in Staines, Surrey.

The company, which has 36 core Borders stores, came close to collapse in July under its previous owner Risk Capital Partners, the private equity vehicle of Luke Johnson, the Channel 4 chairman.
But the bookseller was rescued at the 11th hour by Hilco's investment arm Valco Capital Partners in a management buyout led by Philip Downer, the chief executive of Borders UK.

The company is also negotiating with landlords to restructure or reduce the leases on some of its Borders shops, with one believed to be its branch at the Briggate in Leeds. However, the spokesman insisted: "There are no imminent plans to close any Borders stores."
In an unrelated issue Borders has announced it is now stocking the Touch edition and the Pocket Edition of the Sony Reader in stores and online.

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