04 January 2012

    [RE-WIND 2011][#39] Going BORDERS

    September 18 marked the last chapter in the story of Borders. The chain started out in 1971 as a used bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and expanded to more than 1,000 stores from coast to coast. But like all stories, Borders would come to an end.

    As the digital age of media, e-readers, and online stores rushed to the forefront of the book-selling business, Borders struggled to keep up with its competitors. The company, founded by siblings Tom and Louis Borders, was known for its cozy, relaxing, and community-oriented atmosphere. As Wired magazine put it, "Borders ... pioneered the idea that a bookstore could be more like a combination of a library and your living room."

    In 2005, Borders added Seattle's Best Coffee cafes -- another company founded by brothers -- to its U.S. locations, making it even more of a community destination. "A family could spend part of a rainy weekend afternoon in Borders, and each of its members could find something to enjoy," recalls Ron Hart, a Yahoo! contributor who lives in New York. "Sometimes it seemed half the neighborhood was there reading books and sharing coffee."

    [Read the rest HERE]

    Borders Group, Inc. (former NYSE ticker symbol BGP) was an international book and music retailer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The company employed approximately 19,500 throughout the U.S., primarily in its Borders and Waldenbooks stores.

    As of January 30, 2010, the company operated 511 Borders superstores in the world, including 508 in the U.S. and three in Puerto Rico. The company also operated 175 stores in the Waldenbooks Specialty Retail segment, including Waldenbooks, Borders Express, Borders airport stores, and Borders Outlet stores.

    Borders Group formerly operated stores in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. However, these were sold off to Pacific Equity Partners (which owned rival Angus & Robertson) in 2008, then were later sold again to RedGroup Retail. The stores continued to operate under the Borders brand as the unaffiliated "Borders Asia Pacific" until RedGroup was placed into voluntary administration in February 2011; with the five New Zealand stores sold to the James Pascoe Group, and the Australian stores gradually shut down, with the last group to close by July 17.
    On February 16, 2011, Borders applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and began liquidating 226 of its stores in the United States. Despite an offer from the private-equity firm Najafi Companies, Borders was not able to find a buyer before its July 17 bidding deadline, and therefore began liquidating its remaining 399 retail outlets on July 22, with the last remaining stores closing their doors on Sunday, September 18, 2011. The Chapter 11 case was ultimately converted to Chapter 7. As of October 14, 2011, the website has been replaced by a redirect to the Barnes & Noble website, effectively shutting down entirely.



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