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Posts Tagged ‘Ron Marshall’

Borders Group CEO Has Resigned

borderslogo23.pngBorders Group CEO Ron Marshall has left the company for another opportunity. On Jan. 18, Marshall had said the company was “disappointed” in holiday sales.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Marshall “has accepted a position with another retailer” and will serve as CEO of this new company. The company’s executive VP, Michael J. Edwards, will serve as the interim CEO.

Last week the company announced that total consolidated holiday sales were $846.8 million, declining 13.7 percent from last year’s sales. In a statement, Marshall addressed these declines: “We are disappointed with holiday results and must intensify our focus on creating and delivering a shopping experience that drives profitable sales … Given the sales challenge, we have continued to manage cash flow and have taken several important steps in line with our strategic priorities, including moving away from underperforming, low margin categories such as music and video in favor of better performing categories such as children’s. The decision to exit multimedia is right long-term, but impacted comp store sales by 3.7 percent. In addition, as previously announced, we are right-sizing the mall business with the closure of 182 Waldenbooks Specialty Retail stores.”

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No Plans for Digital Reader at Borders

bordersbook23.jpgToday Borders (BGP) CEO Ron Marshall rejected the idea of building a reading device like his competitors at Barnes & Noble (BKS) and Amazon.com (AMZN). Here is his quote, via Reuters: “I don’t anticipate us doing our own e-reader for a whole variety of reasons, not least of which is that we’re not a technology company. We’re booksellers.”

GalleyCat has been tracking the stock performance of the major companies that influence the bookselling business. We created this chart with eight publicly-traded publishing stocks hand-picked by our readers–including company name, symbol, current stock price, and price increase or decrease at week’s close.

-Name- -Symbol- -Last price- -Change-
The McGraw-Hill Co. MHP 34.24 -0.15
Books-A-Million, Inc. BAMM 6.57 -0.01
Borders Group, Inc. BGP 1.08 -0.05
Amazon.com, Inc. AMZN 128.48 1.57
Barnes & Noble, Inc. BKS 18.39 -0.18
Wiley John & Sons Inc. JW.A 42.5 -0.27
Scholastic Corporation SCHL 28.26 0.31
News Corporation NWS 15.7 0.27
Google Inc. GOOG 596.27 2.33
Apple Inc. AAPL 195.5 3.64
Sony Corporation SNE 28.64 0.06

1Q Sales Fall 12 Percent at Borders Group, Inc.

308.jpegBorders Group, Inc. announced first quarter results yesterday, noting that total consolidated Q1 sales had dropped to $641.5 million–a 12.1 percent decrease compared to last year.

At the same time, the company reduced its debt by nearly 45 percent at the end of the quarter, leaving the bookseller’s total debt at $325.9 million. Comparable store sales at Borders superstores sales dropped 13.5 percent and 5.5 percent at Waldenbooks Specialty Retail stores.

Ron Marshall, the Borders Group CEO, had this statement: “We continued to strengthen the financial structure of the company by making further improvements to cash flow, debt and adjusted EBITDA … Make no mistake about it, we have much more work to do and will continue to maintain our financial discipline. At the same time, we know that we cannot save our way to prosperity. Our long-term success will come from doing a much better job of driving sales and that’s where our focus is right now.”

Borders Clarifies about Waldenbooks Closures

308.jpegIn a conference call with investors yesterday, Borders CEO Ron Marshall mentioned closures of Waldenbooks stores. Today, GalleyCat has more context about the future of the bookseller.

Vice president of corporate communications Anne Roman told GalleyCat: “[W]e are not planning to close hundreds of Waldenbooks stores in the near future–we are not going from over 300 today to 50 or 60 immediately. We have been very public about the fact that we are closing underperforming Waldenbooks stores and have been doing so for the past couple of years (closed 112 in 2008).”

“We will continue on this path in 2009, closing only those stores that do not meet profit/business objectives, and of course, keeping the profitable stores open as they are an asset. When [Ron Marshall] was asked what the ultimate endgame for Walden would be in the long-term, he said it would be somewhere between zero and the number we have now (over 300) and perhaps could settle in at 50-60 locations ultimately,” she explained in an email.

Borders Total Sales Fell Nearly 13 Percent Last Quarter

308.jpegYesterday Borders Group announced that total sales were $1.1 billion for the final quarter in 2008, down nearly 13 percent from last year. For the year, total sales declined by almost 9 percent.

Earlier this week, Borders Group reported that Pershing Square Capital Management had extended the bookseller’s $42.5 million loan until April 1, 2010, granting the struggling company a chance to recover this year.

In a statement, CEO Ron Marshall praised the new terms: “The extension of the loan gives us some necessary breathing room, which is important in the current economic environment.”