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Borders Done In By e-Readers, Economy

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Borders Group
said the advent of e-readers contributed to its expected sale to liquidators on

The bookseller, which filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, could not find a bidder for its
remaining 399 stores and website and now plans to sell its assets to Hilco and
Gordon Brothers pending court approval. Liquidation sales will begin as soon as
Friday and are expected to run through September.

“Following the best efforts of all
parties, we are saddened by this development,” said Borders Group president
Mike Edwards. “We were all working hard towards a different outcome, but the
headwinds we have been facing for quite some time, including the rapidly
changing book industry, e-reader revolution and turbulent economy, have brought
us to where we are now.”

The chain, which also carried music
and movies, sold e-readers by Aluratek, Kobo and Sony in Area-e departments
within its brick-and-mortar stores and through an online eBook store developed
by Kobo that also provided e-reader apps for Apple, Android and BlackBerry
mobile devices.

In a statement, Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis said, “As one of the early investors in Kobo, Borders has a minority stake in our company and serves as part of our distribution in the U.S. along with Walmart, Best Buy, Sears and other leading retailers. As a member of the broader book publishing and retailing community, we are watching Borders’ story and will offer our support to Borders and their employees. Kobo will continue to serve Borders customers – in this time of transition as well as moving forward – to provide the ultimate e-reading experience and one of the widest selection of e-books available to the e-reading community worldwide.”