Borders President Mike Edwards: We’re Over
6:23 pm, July 18th | by Hillary Reinsberg and Amy Tennery
Looks like the book is closing for Borders. Despite numerous attempts at keeping the country’s second-largest bookseller afloat, the company is officially liquidating and calling it quits. The company’s struggles to compete with online competitors like Amazon and discount sellers were pronounced in February this year, when Borders first filed for bankruptcy protection.
The company once operated 1,249 stores, but now is expected to liquidate all of them after various attempts at sales ended up falling through due to qualms from creditors and lenders. The remaining 399 stores are expected to close soon.
“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,” Mike Edwards, the Borders Group President said today, according to the AP.
It’s a shocking reversal of sentiment for Edwards, who had remained optimistic until the bitter end. Just this morning the Wall Street Journal had reported that the embattled president was hopeful there would be “a positive outcome” for the company.
It seemed as though Borders had a fighting chance at one point, with Gordon Brothers Group CEO Gary Talarico suggesting that he might make an offer for Borders’ “intellectual property.” While that probably would have done little to save many of the bookseller’s retail locations, it would have protected the Border’s name and maybe have kept its online sales alive.
Still, it’s difficult to be surprised at the outcome for Edwards and his team. With bids due at 5 p.m. last night — and the one potential buyer clearly waffling — it seemed unlikely that Borders would book an agreement.