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Borders goes into liquidation under weight of e-books

updated 04:50 pm EDT, Mon July 18, 2011

Borders liquidating and closing all stores

Borders on Monday night said it would effectively shut down as it planned to liquidate its business. Following unsuccessful tries at selling itself following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company planned to sell all 399 of its stores and their assets to two liquidation companies, Gordon Brothers and Hilco. The clearout would start as soon as Friday with the entire process wrapped up by September.

Company president Mike Edwards directly blamed the failure on the nature of technology and the pressure from e-readers, among other factors.

"The rapidly changing book industry, eReader revolution, and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now," he said.

The move could be a serious wound for Kobo. While generally successful, a large part of its US sales have been dependent on being the exclusive e-reader hardware maker for Borders. Kobo will now have to lean more on regular store chains in the US, its mobile apps, as well as sales in its home country of Canada and elsewhere in the world.

Borders represents the first major casualty of e-books. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which leaped on to e-readers faster and with more attention, are already selling more e-books than paper editions for most if not all of their lineups. The threat was only expected to worsen as iPads, the Nook Color, and Amazon's future tablet reduced the market for paper magazines. [image via Joan Druett]

by MacNN Staff



  1. facebook_Kevin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jul 2011


    I think what he meant to say...

    I think what Mike Edwards meant to say was...

    "Our stagnant archaic business model, lack of innovation moving into the e-reader market, and smart customers who don't want to buy $30 DVDs, have brought us to where we are now,"

  1. TujuMaster

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is a little sad...

    I own a Kindle and I love it but I also love Borders. I will miss it!

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Old Skool

    I, for one, still prefer reading a real book versus reading on a screen. The experience is just ... different. I don't feel the same attachment to a ebook as I do to a real, paper book. It ironic I should say this since I have no problems with digital video and music files. :)

    Where ebooks would be exceedingly useful is in the textbook market. Instead of just etextbooks, tablets could allow for true interactive textbooks where the student could see the outcome of examples and changes made to problems, etc.

    As it stands I will continue to buy paper books for reading for as long as possible. I will truly miss the closing of local bookstores as I expect Barnes and Nobles to follow the same path in the future.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    A comment

    The article states that Amazon and B&N sell more ebooks for "all if not most of their lineups". As of right now, a LARGE number of books are NOT available as ebooks.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'll miss Borders

    Used to go out there every week and buy books, dvds, and hot chocolate... not everytime, but I was a preferred customer and had their Rewards card.
    having sold books to Borders for years, I felt their new model wasn't working at all... they kept changing plans, buying methods, had a lot of dweebs working for them in Ann Arbor (follow policy)... and they were really big on this diversity stuff. I applied for a job as a manager and there was virtually nothing about skill level in selling stuff just that they wanted to let you know that we hire "different" people. Thanks guys. Now the "different" people are going to be out of work along with the ones who did know what they were doing.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    On Amazon selling more ebooks for titles than in any other category, that is true, but due to fudge work. The break up a books sales by hardcover, paperback, big print, cheap paperback, high-end hard-cover, etc. And then ebooks. So they may sell more ebooks of a book than hardcover OR paperback, seldom do they if it is AND.

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