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2.16.2011

Borders Files Bankruptcy

It's official: Borders has filed for bankruptcy.

As its stated on their reorganization website:
In light of the ongoing impact of the difficult economy of the past few years, and the rapidly changing retailing environment for books and related products, it is essential that Borders restructure itself to reposition its business to be viable and successful over the long term.
What this mean is about 200 stores will be closing down, thousands of booksellers (and baristas) will be left unemployed across the country. In Austin, TX, all Borders will being closed (85 employees):




See the full list here.

While some see this as a major lost (there's less competition now, Amazon will win); others are a little more optimistic. Author Toby Barlow, for example, sees this as a perfect opportunity for independents. In a message to Borders employees (who he advises to open up new bookstores), he writes:
Yes, it's true that some forces are working against you, but when isn't that true in life? And yes, there are fewer independent bookstores out there, but you know why? Places like Borders put them out of business. So, Border's demise gives the indie a fighting chance, right? In fact, quite a few independent bookstores are doing pretty well. Word bookstore in Greenpoint, Book Court in Cobble Hill, and in our own rough and tumble downtown Detroit, Leopold's Books has been chugging along with an eclectic mix of quirky books, graphic novels, and offbeat magazines. There's a customer in there every time I stop by and they're always buying something.
And perhaps the best advice for would-be bookstore owners is to adapt, adapt, adapt! Everyone loves chocolate for example. Therefore sell chocolate books...or chocolate and books.

Also, they should learn not to make publishers mad. I mean, wouldn't you be mad if someone owed you $41,118,914.37? And that's just Penguin.

(On a side note, I'm kinda happy the one in DC [K Street NW] is closing. I was in there one time and asked a guy where the gay fiction section was. He laughed, but then stopped when he realized I was serious. I hope he will never find another job again)

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