updated 04:50 pm EDT, Mon July 18, 2011
Borders liquidating and closing all stores
Borders on Monday night said it would effectively shut down as it planned to liquidate its business. Following unsuccessful tries at selling itself following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company planned to sell all 399 of its stores and their assets to two liquidation companies, Gordon Brothers and Hilco. The clearout would start as soon as Friday with the entire process wrapped up by September.
Company president Mike Edwards directly blamed the failure on the nature of technology and the pressure from e-readers, among other factors.
"The rapidly changing book industry, eReader revolution, and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now," he said.
The move could be a serious wound for Kobo. While generally successful, a large part of its US sales have been dependent on being the exclusive e-reader hardware maker for Borders. Kobo will now have to lean more on regular store chains in the US, its mobile apps, as well as sales in its home country of Canada and elsewhere in the world.
Borders represents the first major casualty of e-books. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble, which leaped on to e-readers faster and with more attention, are already selling more e-books than paper editions for most if not all of their lineups. The threat was only expected to worsen as iPads, the Nook Color, and Amazon's future tablet reduced the market for paper magazines. [image via Joan Druett]