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Posted on Thu, May 12, 2011 : 10 p.m.

Borders appeals to customers with new shipping promise

By Nathan Bomey

Ann Arbor-based Borders Group Inc. told customers in an e-mail today that it would commit to paying the shipping costs of books the chain has not stocked at its stores.

Mike Edwards, CEO of Borders Group subsidiary Borders Inc., made an appeal to customers in a mass e-mail to encourage them to shop at the retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.


Borders CEO Mike Edwards

Melanie Maxwell |

"I hope you visit your neighborhood Borders and find that special book that speaks to you personally," Edwards wrote in an e-mail to the 41 million members of the company's Borders Rewards loyalty program.

Edwards told customers that if they can't find the item they want at a Borders store, "we'll get the item and pay the shipping costs to priority ship it to your home" through June 12.

"It's our way of showing our appreciation for your continued support and loyalty," he said.

The offer comes as Borders is trying to convince publishers to agree to more favorable terms for continued shipment of books. Edwards told a new agreement with publishers is critical to Borders' goal of emerging from bankruptcy in September.

Meanwhile, the company has reportedly fielded an acquisition bid, according to a recent report by trade journal Publishers Weekly.

It's unclear whether a suitor for Borders would seek to close more stores than the 230 locations the company is already shuttering and whether the company would maintain its corporate headquarters in Ann Arbor.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Fri, May 13, 2011 : 9:12 p.m.

So I wandered into Border's last night and the math and science section had been stripped of books. What was there was shelved facing out to make the shelves look full. I know they didn't sell them all so where did the books go? I assume they sent them to the stores closing to raise money. Now that they don't have the books on the shelves they have to promise me free shipping? No thank you.


Fri, May 13, 2011 : 1:59 p.m.

Through June 12th. Is this a very short term plan to generate positive cash flow? I was a loyalty member, but didn't find any worthwhile discounts unless I was purchasing something every week! I tend to buy my books for the year and done. Still, what the CEO misses is the point of actually going into the store, browsing, and finding something new or different. That has been part of the allure of Borders, along with their very knowledgeable staff. Sad to see it all go away due to corporate greed that sought short term rapid growth without seeing the trends that were occurring with Amazon, e-books, and just better ways to get the same products instead of brick and mortar stores.


Fri, May 13, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

I have shopped at Borders all my life and have been a Borders Rewards member for years. I will never buy anything from Borders again after their behavior recently. I have seen how Borders screws the majority of it's employees and pays it's executives fat bonuses for getting their creditors to accept less. They have lost me as a customer and my whole family too. I will tell everyone I know not to shop at Borders. Borders true colors have come out during this bankruptcy. BOO to Borders!

zip the cat

Fri, May 13, 2011 : noon

Forget about the BONUSES your trying to get after a ton of your workers lost there jobs and I'll think about your offer. I've thought about it and decline I call on everyone to BOYCOTT borders.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, May 13, 2011 : 11:49 a.m.

Too little, too late... so how did that 8 million dollars in bonuses work out for ya, Mr. Edwards?


Fri, May 13, 2011 : 10:41 a.m.

Thanks, but the offer is not of interest.