Borders Group will ask the bankruptcy court to accept a liquidation bid from Hilco and Gordon Brothers. The liquidation will close the company’s remaining 399 stores and cut around 10,700 employees.
UPDATE: Sourcebooks publisher Dominique Raccah has launched a #ThankUBorders hashtag so publishing professionals, writers and readers can thank the 10,700 Borders employees for their literary service. Here’s an excerpt: “I really wanted today to say THANK YOU to Borders – to their community of booksellers and home office staff over the years – for being such an important part of our lives, and for their dedication to getting books into the hands of so many people for so many years. If you’d like to add your thanks, please feel free to comment below and talk about what Borders’ booksellers have meant to you. You can also feel free to post to Twitter, Facebook, Google+.”
The New York Times shared concerns about publishing layoffs: “Employees at major publishing houses worried that layoffs could be imminent, as many companies have dedicated staff members that work only with Borders. The closing could have a particular impact in paperback sales. Borders was known as a retailer that took special care in selling paperbacks, and its promotion of certain titles could boost them to best-seller status.”
UPDATE: The Borders statement incorrectly stated that Hilco and Gordon Brother will purchase the company’s assets. A spokesperson from Hilco explained how the liquidation will work: “In fact, Hilco and the other liquidation firms will not purchase the assets. We are agents of the bankruptcy court and, as such, we do not take ownership of the store assets (inventory, fixtures and equipment). We are simply appointed to assume control of store operations and conduct a going-out-of-business sale. At no time does ownership of Borders’ assets transfer to the liquidators.”
Borders president Mike Edwards had this statement: “Following the best efforts of all parties, we are saddened by this development … 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, eReader revolution, and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: We will continue to update this story as it evolves this evening.
Borders Group reported today that, in accordance with the terms of its financing agreement, the Company will submit to the Court for approval the previously-announced proposal from Hilco and Gordon Brothers….
“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, eReader revolution, and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now,” he added.
“For decades, Borders stores have been destinations within our communities, places where people have sought knowledge, entertainment, and enlightenment and connected with others who share their passion. Everyone at Borders has helped millions of people discover new books, music, and movies, and we all take pride in the role Borders has played in our customers’ lives,” Edwards continued, “I extend a heartfelt thanks to all of our dedicated employees and our loyal customers.”
Borders currently operates 399 stores and employs approximately 10,700 employees. Subject to the Court’s approval, under the proposal, liquidation is expected to commence for some stores and facilities as soon as Friday, July 22, with a phased rollout of the program which is expected to conclude by the end of September. Borders intends to liquidate under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code and, as a result, Borders expects to be able to pay vendors in the ordinary course for all expenses incurred during the bankruptcy cases.