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Borders in Danger of Being Delisted

Borders is starting off the new year  with a big management change and a sobering warning from the NYSE.  George Jones is being replaced as CEO of Borders after only two years.  Ron Marshall, a principal of a private equity fund, will be taking over.  

Book sales were down 11.7 percent at Borders over the holiday period from last year but that the website, Borders.com, did $20 million in business. Worse is that the NYSE has informed Borders that it is in danger of being delisted because it's trading at below $1.00 for over thirty days (and its undercapatilized).  

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

16 Comments

  1. jmc
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 10:40:11

    Wow, that news is likely to send the few investors interested in Borders scurrying away.

  2. Deb Kinnard
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 10:40:14

    Here at Casa Chaos, we so do not want Borders to go away. We only have one alternative around here for book shopping, and can I say here that it doesn’t compare? To support Borders through the holidays, we went there for gift purchases instead of going to our second choice chain store. I wish Borders the very best in ’09 and really hope we don’t go down to one chain bookseller here in the Chicago ‘burbs.

  3. Zoe Archer
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 12:07:31

    There are several Borders near where I live (West Los Angeles), but one is being closed, and in a very prime location in a fairly affluent neighborhood, too. Me no likey.

  4. veinglory
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 13:20:06

    While Borders and B&N killed the indy stores–they are now the only book outlets left for miles in many suburbs. I am hoping my local outlet survives.

  5. joanne
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 14:35:01

    I like our Border’s store layout so much better then our Barnes & Nobel store.
    B&N keeps the ‘romance’ books on the second floor…. in the very back. If they got any further back you’d have to walk through the wall to get to them. Borders keeps their romance novels in the middle of the store just as though they were real books.

    BUT.

    I went into Borders on Saturday to pick up the newest Feehan Murder Game along with some other new releases. I didn’t see what I was looking for even though they all showed as being in the store on their computer…. the woman who was helping me said “oh, new books go out on Monday night”. I said WTF? Or words to that effect. She just shrugged. So were the sales down for them over the Holidays because they have bad karma or because they don’t use common sense?

    Sorry for the rant.

  6. Kay Webb Harrison
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 14:55:47

    I was very saddened today when I went to the Waldenbooks closest to my house and discovered that it is closing. There will still be two stores in the area, but neither is close enough to me to entice me to drive to either. I have to confess that I hadn’t been to MY Waldenbooks in ages, but that was solely because of my arthritic knees, which outache my desire to go shopping in a non-virtual venue.

    Kay

  7. Ada
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 20:54:10

    Joanne I know what you mean about Borders lacking on new releases and some books. This weekend I also went to a Borders near my house and they didn’t have what I was looking for. Then I drove a little far down and went to a BAM and not only did they had the book that I was looking for, but they also had another two titles that I didn’t even know were out already.

    I’m starting to believe that their sales are down because they don’t have the best selection and their prices slightly are slightly higher than their competitors.

  8. ldb
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 20:57:41

    That stinks. I love the rewards program, I hope they don’t get rid of it and do a pay one like B&N.

  9. Jane
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 21:07:23

    @joanne Borders is pretty strict about relying on the street dates of books. Release dates for books are Tuesdays and bookstores can ostensibly get fined or punished for putting out books in advance of the street date.

    Street dates are dates that are given by a publisher to a book to ensure that most of the sales take place in one week and thus making a book appear to be a bestseller.

  10. (Jān)
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 21:26:07

    Two of our Border closed over the weekend. My online book shopping this holiday was from Borders online. It’s risky, but I want to support them. :(

  11. Mary Winter
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 02:17:03

    I’m afraid now that I work third shift the patronizing I used to do of my local Borders is all being done online. I also got some snotty attitudes from them when I inquired about my books about a year or so ago, so decided not to worry about trying to visit them even though it’s down the street from the PetSmart I visit weekly. (Six kitties, that’s a lot of cat litter. *GRINS*)

    Reading an awesome book right now “Rebel Bookseller” by Andrew Laties. Doesn’t give much sympathy to the chains.

  12. Jenica
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 10:49:04

    I love Borders. They are strict about release dates (but most bookstores around me are). However, if they haven’t stocked a book that’s already released, they’ll always go to the back to get it for me if I ask. I am totally with Joanne – B&N makes romance books look like 2nd class reading by their selection and where they stock the books. I’d probably go to exclusive library and used bookstore reading before shopping there.

  13. RfP
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 11:00:40

    Borders is my favorite of the chains by a long shot–for romance and for everything else. I really hope they survive.

  14. SonomaLass
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 18:47:47

    My kids all got Borders gift cards for Christmas (from my parents, every year). When we went to our nearby one to spend them this Sunday, we also found their stock very low. My daughter had gotten two books for Christmas that were first in their respective series, but the next two books in one series weren’t in stock (although the computer said “likely in store”). Same story for my son, looking for the next in his series. We also overhead a woman looking for a copy of Wicked; they had a whole shelf the week before Christmas, none on January 4. There were gaping holes on the shelves where things hadn’t been re-stocked — in YA, in romance, and in sci-fi/fantasy (the three sections I browsed).

    We would miss our Borders — the local independents are snobs about genre fiction, especially romance, and I agree with others about B&N. And I’m another one who would miss the rewards program!!

  15. Tabitha C
    Jan 06, 2009 @ 22:01:04

    I love Borders and prefer it over B&N any day. Borders has great rewards program and offers coupons all the time while you have to pay at B&N to get discounts and membership. Not only that, the big Borders I shop at have the books I want in stock most times I’m looking for them — old and new releases. I also just found out last week that the Borders Express that is closest book store near me within 25miles have new releases out on shelves a day or two earlier than release dates…can’t say enough how much I love Borders stores.

  16. Randi
    Jan 07, 2009 @ 10:06:08

    It’s very interesting how both Borders and B&N differ depending on location. For instance, my B&N has romance right next door to mystery and general fiction, and just a row over from SciFi/Fantasy. So, if you’re browsing, you got everything in one place. However, my B&N is low on romance and mystery selections, though their SciFi/Fantasy selection is pretty large. Conversly, my Borders has a HUGE romance section, (located at the back of the store as well. Not hidden necessarily, since it’s right next door to the SciFi/Fantasy section, it just takes up a whole corner of the store), but a teeny tiny SciFi/Fantasy section.

    Other interesting differences are: yes, Borders does offer frequent and very nice discounts (can you say Lost 4 for $41!), while B&N had significantly decreased their discount coupons. Which I think is a shame. So I’ve been frequenting Borders a lot because they frackin send me a coupon like every other day! I do find though, that B&N has more knowledgable employees, while Borders employees are both unknowledgable about book and have a sullen attitude.

    I really hope Borders doesn’t close down…that would be really sad…;(

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