|Founded||December 10, 1971|
|Defunct||September 28, 2011|
Number of locations
Number of employees
Borders Group, Inc. (former
At the beginning of 2010, the company operated 511 Borders superstores in the US. The company also operated 175 stores in the Waldenbooks Specialty Retail segment, including
By the end of December 2010, Borders employed an estimated 1,150 across its U.K. stores, which went into bankruptcy administration before the end of 2010. All stores were closed by December 31, 2010. Borders Group also formerly operated stores in Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. However, these were sold off to
The original Borders bookstore was located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it was founded in 1971 by brothers Tom and Louis Borders during their undergraduate and graduate years at the
Wahr's had been mainly a textbook and school-supplies vendor, but the brothers did not deal in textbooks. They moved the retail bookshop to much larger quarters that had become available across the street at 303 South State, in the former location of the Wagner and Son men's clothing store. The old shop was renamed Charing Cross Bookshop and Tom Frick was sent over from the new bookshop to help.[
The downtown Ann Arbor store moved across the street again in 1994 to 612 East Liberty, at the southwest corner of Liberty and State Streets, in the building once occupied by the defunct
The Borders brothers' inventory system tailored each store's offerings to its community. A sister company, Book Inventory Systems (BIS) (1976–1994), was founded to serve as a wholesaler for and provide the brothers' custom inventory system to regional
Borders was acquired in 1992 by
In 1994, Borders briefly operated a mall-based toy store called All Wound Up, which sold toys and novelty items. Most All Wound Up stores were seasonal kiosks in shopping malls.
Borders was slated to open stores in Canada, starting with a 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) retail store in Toronto. However, this was rejected for failing to meet Canadian ownership regulations for book retailers.
In 1997, the company established its first international store in Singapore, occupying 32,000 square feet (3,000 m2) in
On November 26, 2009, Borders (UK) Ltd was placed into administration, which is the equivalent to
In the third quarter of 2006, the Singapore store emerged as the best performing among the group's 559 outlets, with the highest revenue generated per square meter. At one point, the highest-grossing location in US territory was a remodeled and expanded store in Puerto Rico, generating $17 million in sales annually.
By the end of 2009, all of Borders' directly owned overseas locations had been sold or closed, leaving only the franchise stores in Dubai, Oman, and Malaysia.[
In April 2005, Borders Group opened its first franchise store with Malaysia's
In 2003, Borders had 1,249 stores using the Borders and Waldenbooks names.
In March 2007, Borders Group announced it would scale down the number of Waldenbooks outlets it had by half, to about 300, in the next year.[
Also in March 2007, Borders Group announced the disposal of its Ireland and UK businesses, including its Books etc. business in the UK, with the aim of revitalizing the core US business; however, it was also announced that Borders Group would retain the
In September 2007, it was announced that the 42 Borders and 28 Books etc. stores in Ireland and the UK had been sold to private-equity group
In 2008, Borders opened 14 concept stores nationwide, which included a Digital Center, offering select electronic devices such as MP3 players, digital photo frames, and the
In late 2007, Borders installed digital video monitors in select stores. The monitors display special programs, as well as news, sports, and financial information provided through Ripple Networks, Inc., a California-based marketing service.
Borders Group also launched a customer appreciation program called Borders Rewards. In contrast to a membership from Barnes & Noble, which was a paid-for membership that entitled customers to discounts, Borders Rewards was a free program with discount coupons and the ability to earn store credit for purchases. In addition, in September 2009, following the lead of Barnes & Noble, the chain discontinued its fee-based wireless service provided by T-Mobile and began implementing a free Wi-Fi network provided by Verizon.
The Australian, New Zealand, and Singaporean stores were sold in June 2008 to
The last year that Borders made a profit was in 2006. Its yearly income dropped by $1 billion over the next four years.
In March 2007, the company announced the end of its marketing alliance with Amazon, as well as plans to launch its own online business in early 2008.
In March 2008, Borders Group announced the intention to sell the chain because of financial difficulties. Borders Books was rumored to have approached Barnes & Noble in hopes of a buyout. The chain was in debt, having increased its financial instability by borrowing US$42.5 million in March from
On January 5, 2009, the company announced that Ron Marshall would immediately take over as chief executive. Former CEO George L. Jones received a
On March 30, 2009, Marshall announced that the loan from Pershing Square would be extended for another year (coming due on April 1, 2010), at an interest rate of 9.8%. This, combined with a series of layoffs and new promotional deals with major publishers, caused Borders stock to rise. Within a week, it had topped the $1.00 mark. By mid-April, it had approached $2.00. As a result, the company cancelled plans to ask its shareholders for permission to perform a
On August 11, 2009, Borders revealed the names of the replacements for five of the eight members of the board of directors, who had previously announced their intentions to quit. The new members included Paul J. Brown of
On November 5, 2009, Borders announced that it would close some of its Waldenbooks stores in an effort to improve the profitability of its Specialty Retail operations. By January 2010, 182 stores had been closed.
Holiday sales figures for 2009 were "disappointing", with total sales of $846.8 million, down 14.7% from the previous year. Employees reported that major cuts were made in payroll hours.[
On January 26, 2010, CEO Ron Marshall resigned to become president and CEO of
On March 31, 2010, Borders announced that the loan from Pershing Square had been paid in full. In early April, the company's stock had rebounded to $2.78 per share.[
On May 21, 2010, it was revealed that
The company reported significant losses for the third quarter, compared to 2009. At the end of 2010,
On February 16, 2011, the company announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, listing $1.275 billion in assets and $1.293 billion in debts in its filing. The company also announced the
A group of Borders creditors rejected the Direct Brands takeover bid in July 2011. Borders filed for an auction and the motion was approved by a judge; however, the bid deadline expired on July 17 without a bidder. A United States bankruptcy judge approved a petition to liquidate; this resulted in the company converting their Chapter 11 case to Chapter 7. On July 22, 2011, Borders started closing its remaining 399 stores with a phased roll-out. Business operations ceased in September 2011. Former rival and the current second-largest chain of bookstores in the United States,
Books-A-Million later resurrected its offer to buy portions of Borders Group, purchasing the leases for 14 stores in primarily New England and Pennsylvania.
Borders USA closed the doors of its remaining stores on Sunday, September 18, 2011. The last remaining Singaporean Borders store in Parkway Parade Shopping Center, closed its doors at 9 pm (Singapore time) after a final sale on Monday, September 26, 2011.[
The Borders online store closed on September 27, 2011, at 10:30 pm Eastern.[