Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It's the last chapter for books venture Borders -
Sales bargains galore with all stores to close by Christmas Eve

By Terri Judd writing in The Independent
Monday, 14 December 2009

A decade ago, Borders was launched amid much fanfare as a fresh alternative for lovers of literature, a place where they could also pick up a coffee and a CD. Yesterday there was an equally eclectic but much sadder sale going on as the bookseller flogged off its remaining stock, fixtures and fittings, with all of its stores predicted to close by Christmas Eve.

The sale is likely to prove a bonanza for the money-conscious seasonal shopper. Unusually, among the items on sale are a range from Denby Pottery, and it is understood the Charing Cross Road branch is inviting people to make an offer on a piano.

Reports said that staff were expecting "Countdown to closure" signs to be put up in its stores today, with the fixtures at 14 stores already on sale. A notice on the company website which urges customers to come in and pick up a bargain as "All stores closing – hurry, final weeks!" adds: "The Administrators would ask that all customers and suppliers treat the staff with patience and courtesy as this is an extremely difficult and uncertain period for all employees."

Borders UK, which was launched in Britain by its parent US company in 1997, was supposed to offer an alternative to the traditional book seller with outlets in out-of-town shopping malls. But it has proved a victim of modern times, losing much of its sales to online retailers such as Amazon and supermarket giants. This summer, Philip Downer, the chief executive of Borders UK, insisted its future was secure after a management buyout. But three weeks ago, it went into administration, putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk, after it failed to find a buyer.
The full stpry at The Independent.


Unknown said...

Coincidentally, BBC 4's excellent Open Book program this week includes a piece on the closing of Borders, and perhaps more interesting, the future of bookshops.

The program can be listened to at the below URL (you'll have to copy and paste, I don't know if the html url tag works in here):


(Each show is put up for a week.)

Unknown said...

Addendum to my last post, the 'future of bookshops' discussion starts 9 minutes and 5 seconds into the program.

Full description:

fter Borders bookshop chain announced it was going into administration, the CEO of Hachette UK, Tim Hely Hutchinson; editor of The Bookseller, Neill Denny; and independent bookseller Patrick Neale discuss the future of the bookshop on the high street. Author Patrick Gale provides the writers' perspective.

There are over 1500 independent bookshops and 300 Waterstones, but the threat from online selling, the supermarket and the arrival of the e-book have all had an impact on where books are sold, and we consider the serious threat to the bookshop.


Borders in Auckland made me a tad queasy when I visited last week and found that in what should be peak book-selling season, everything in store was being sold off at a 20% discount.