Image via WikipediaAnn Arbor, Michigan-based Borders Group, Inc. will shutter its remaining 399 Borders book stores nationwide, pink-slipping roughly 11,000 employees, threatening the sales of electronic books, and creating gaping holes of empty space in shopping malls around the country.
Earlier this year, Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy re-organization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (Docket No. 11-10614) (see "TUOL" post 2/16/11). Creditors wouldn't bite on the offered bid from Najafi Cos. to keep the bookstore chain afloat, so at the scheduled court hearing on July 21, the company will seek bankruptcy court approval of liquidation of its assets by Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, according to an article in USA Today and a blog post by Geekosystem.com. The liquidation will put money in vendors' pockets, but shopping malls and urban store locations that drew browsers, if not buyers, aplenty, will go dark.
It's hard to remember that Borders was once the leviathan "bad guy" that threatened small, independent bookstores, only to be undone itself by Amazon and WalMart. The demise of Borders means further isolation in our society as people will order their books online, instead of recommending books to each other over a latte in the Borders' cafe.