Earlier this week, Borders turned to the one chapter most everyone would rather avoid. Chapter 11. Though it came as no surprise to the industry or consumers, the affect of this latest move could be pretty daunting not only for the company and its employees, but for the landlords, communities and vendors as well.
As part of the plan (this part just approved by a federal judge today), Borders will close approximately 200 of its 600+ stores which will of course send employees and landlords scrambling. And then there are the vendors. One report I saw listed Borders current debt to book publishers at over $230 million with over $40 million of that to Penguin and similar amounts to Random House, Hachette and Simon & Schuster just to name a few.
From what I understand Borders made a couple of critical mistakes.
1 – They didn’t prepare for and adapt to the online and digital book market as fast or as well as they should have. And…
2 – They had too many stores with very long leases that just were not performing.
As a former independent bookstore owner, and current book lover, I am worried about the impact to the industry as a whole. As an entrepreneur, I’m curious to know what you would have done differently. And as a neighbor and book industry reporter, I’d love to know how the store closings and restructuring will affect you – if at all.
— Dana Barrett, Managing Editor