retail news in context, analysis with attitude

As expected, troubled bookstore chain Borders filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday, saying that it will close 200 stores, or roughly one-third of its fleet.

The company has hired liquidators to handle going-out-of-business sales at those stores, beginning this Saturday.

According to the Detroit Free Press, “The move comes after lengthy turnaround efforts -- including layoffs, numerous store closings and arrangements with creditors -- have failed to keep the company above water. Borders has 6,100 full-time employees and 11,400 part-time
employees. It has shed thousands of store and corporate employees over the past few years. About 6,000 workers could lose their jobs in the current restructuring.”

Among the units to be closed are high profile flagship stores on Chicago’s Miracle Mile, and adjacent to San Francisco’s Union Square.

Borders President Mike Edwards said he hopes to reposition Borders to be "a potentially vibrant national retailer of books and other products."
KC's View:
I feel bad for the people working at stores about to be liquidated. Among the worst experiences of my professional life were going-out-of-business sales run by liquidators at two men’s clothing stores where I worked part-time in the seventies and eighties. The British Stock Exchange in Marina del Rey, California, and County Boys’ and Men’s Shop in Scarsdale, NY....RIP.)

Just awful experiences.

But I may feel worse for the people staying at Borders ... because, as the Free Press notes, management there doesn’t seem to know what the next iteration should be.