Dark clouds seem to be hovering over Borders as they have run out of all options and now must liquidate its assets. In a last bid effort, the bookstore that has been in operation 1971 has tried to sell itself as per Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but no viable buyer emerged as the deadline passed this Sunday. This leaves Borders with no other option but to sell all its assets.
On the chopping block will be all 399 of its stores while the fate of almost 11,000 of its employees hangs in balance as the clear off process gets underway as soon as this Friday, while the entire process is expected to be complete by September. Two liquidation companies, Gordon Brothers and Hilco, will be in control of all things Borders in the immediate future.
“Following the best efforts of all parties, we are saddened by this development,” said Borders President Mike Edwards. “We were all working hard toward a different outcome, but the head winds we have been facing for quite some time, including the rapidly changing book industry, [electronic reader] revolution and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now.”
This however will be good news for rival companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Both of them have started way later than Borders started out four decades ago. Borders lost its way mainly because, as its current owners puts it, due to their inability to change with the times. Amazon has started operation in 1997 and came up with its own supporting hardware a decade later in 2007 – the Kindle. Barnes & Noble too rose to the occasion and came up with its own supporting e-reader device in the form of the original Nook in 2009. Borders joined the party pretty late – mid 2010 with the Kobo e-reader. While the alliance did seem to work at first, it turned out to be a case of too little too late. Both Amazon and B&N are already selling more digital editions of textbooks than the hardcover counterparts.
Now with Borders throwing in the towel, Kobo will have a hard time impressing buyers as it is now robbed of its exclusive book source. The Kobo will now have to learn to survive sans Borders and will have to depend on other regular e-book sources.