Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Borders' liquidation: What now?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Borderslogo.jpeg
Borders has set a time frame, extending from this coming Friday through the end of September, for closing the nearly 400 stores that survived its initial bankruptcy-driven purge back in February. The Wall Street Journal reported today that the former bookstore mega-chain, which currently employs more than 10,000 people, will be sold to liquidators.

In addition to the devastating blow to employees, the announcement doesn't bode well for the future of the book industry in general. When it comes to brick-and-mortar outlets, the success of the iPad, Kindle and Borders' own Kobo eReader appears to be doing for the book industry what the digital download has done for music. (You can read last year's Indy cover story on the subject here.)

Authors, meanwhile, will be relying more on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the fraction of independent booksellers who've managed to make it this far. And unlike musicians, typical authors (aka not Sarah Palin) have little chance of offsetting lost sales with public appearances, given that promotional book tours are less likely to make money than lose it.

A New York realty company has been retained to fill the vacant properties, seven of which are located in Colorado. According to the Denver Business Journal, the asking price for the 25,317-square-foot Chapel Hills Mall location is $11.88 per square foot, while the Broadmoor Towne Center's 24,990 square feet will be offered at $17.26 per square foot.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Borders website makes no mention of the announcement, and continues to urge consumers to upgrade their Borders Rewards membership for an additional $20. According to the promotion, the offer is available for a limited time only.

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