Borders' liquidation plan approved: Sales start Friday at flagship store in downtown Ann Arbor, Pittsfield store
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Borders plans to close its all of its stores — although, in a last-minute deal, the company tentatively plans to sell up to 35 leases to Alabama-based Books-A-Million. The local stores aren't believed to be on that list.
A team of liquidators led by Hilco Merchant Resources LLC and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC will handle the liquidation sales.
“This marks the end of an era and we thank our customers for their patronage over our 40-year history," Borders Group President Mike Edwards said in a statement. "I encourage our customers to take advantage of this one-time opportunity to find exceptional discounts on their favorite books and other great merchandise. The commitment to our customers will remain a top priority throughout the going-out-of-business sale.”
Books-A-Million confirmed its offer to buy 30 leases — while reports indicate that the company wants the option to acquire another five.
"We feel that it is a great benefit as it would both preserve jobs and create the opportunity for our customers to continue enjoying access to books as well as the bookstore experience," Borders said in a statement.
Borders is liquidating 259 superstores, 114 Borders Express and Waldenbooks stores and 26 airport stores. The liquidators estimated that the stores contained $700 million in inventory.
It was unclear how long the sales would last, but a liquidation spokesperson said in a news release that "we expect this will be a short sale."
Sales will start as high as 40 percent off, although discounts will vary. The liquidators also plan to sell off Borders' furniture, lighting and shelving, among other fixtures.
"We anticipate that today’s value-conscious consumer will respond very positively to these outstanding savings," the companies said.
Customers can use gift cards until the sales conclude. All purchases made starting July 22 will be final — and the company will only honor "Borders Bucks," a form of credit distributed to loyal customers, through July 31.
Borders on Monday announced plans to liquidate after a deal to sell the company to a Phoenix-based private equity firm collapsed. The liquidation, which is expected to be complete by September, marks the end of the bookstore chain, which was founded in Ann Arbor by Tom and Louis Borders in 1971.
The company's 10,700 employees, including 400 workers left at the company's Ann Arbor headquarters, will lose their jobs.
Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February with hopes of reorganizing, but it continued to lose millions.