As expected, Borders UK filed for “administration” (the UK equivalent of bankruptcy) last week, with the firm MCR overseeing the process after another company, BDO, pulled out at the last minute citing an unspecified conflict.
Stores started offering discounts immediately thereafter to help sell off existing merchandise while employees and publishers wait to see if anyone is interested in buying part or all of the chain. The Bookseller’s anonymous “Borders Insider” wrote of confusion and changing orders at the store level over how deeply to discount.
Most UK newspaper accounts expect the chain to be liquidated, with the possibility that a small number of individual store locations might be bought by other retailers. The most optimistic appraisal came from the Guardian last Thursday, which “understood that buyers have been lined up for about half the shops.” And today a spokesman for the bankruptcy administrators MCR insisted to the Evening Telegraph that “there are a number of very interested parties in buying the group and discussions are on-going. We cannot confirm anything on the future of any individual store but, at the moment, nobody is being made redundant at store level.”
Indianapolis’s gay and lesbian bookstore Out Word Bound will close after Christmas. Co-owner Mary Byrne says the store was “paying for itself,” but both owners have others jobs and they were unable to find a buyer.
The LAT took at the “plenty of villains” behind the troubles threatening Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Co. “It’s been a precarious existence the last four or five years,” says owner Peter Aaron and the store finally “just did not have the wherewithal to ride out any significant problems that came along, let alone the perfect storm that hit us last year.” Aaron has applied for a loan at 11 banks, hoping that a change in location can revitalize the store’s business.