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Posted on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 4:58 p.m.

Borders' stock slips close to critical $1 threshold as holidays near

By Nathan Bomey

Investors seem to be pessimistic about Borders Group Inc.'s holiday prospects.

The stock for the Ann Arbor-based book store chain (NYSE: BGP) has lost about one-third of its value over the last month and a half. It closed at $1.06 today, down $0.06 today and $0.52 since Oct. 6.

The stock's slide comes as the holiday shopping season dawns. Borders is hoping that its electronic books offerings and new "non-book products" like Build-A-Bear stuffed animals boost sales. The firm also introduced a redesigned website last week and a new shipping offer in a bid to draw in more online customers.

Stocks that trade below $1 for an extended period of time are in danger of being de-listed by the New York Stock Exchange.

A Borders spokeswoman said the company does not comment on its stock price as a matter of company policy.

Borders employs some 600 workers at its corporate headquarters in Ann Arbor and 19,000 at more than 500 super stores worldwide.

The firm's sales have been on a continuous slide with no sign of a turnaround. In its second fiscal quarter, which ended July 31, Borders reported that its sales slipped 11.5 percent to $526.1 million. Sales at stores open at least a year declined 6.8 percent over the same period.

The company posted a loss of $46.7 million, up from a $45.6 million loss during the same period in 2009.

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



Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 12:37 p.m.

I love Borders stores and physical books. But, I also love buying used books inexpensively and conveniently from Amazon. The Borders Group is caught in the double whammy long term trends of increasing ebook and internet sales, all while during a severe economic downturn. Now there are kiosks that can print books on demand while you wait. My free advice (donations accepted) to the company is to focus on ways to separate readers from their computers and bring them into the stores. People, even "book people", need some human interaction. I call it "coffee shop interaction" where people are reading and sipping beverages surrounded by others doing the same but are not talking to each other. Better ways to involve people include hosting in-store book and writing clubs (like Whole Foods does with cooking classes) and sponsoring more authors to come speak. To survive Borders will have to find a creative and intelligent way to dance through these challenging times.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

i've been to borders a handful of times. each time the layout was cramped. books were hard to locate. and they seemed to cram too many titles onto the self, making browsing difficult. barnes and noble gets it. while amazon is cheaper, i find my self wanting a book immeadiately. the typical book store needs to change. and borders just doesn't know how. i see a january closeout sale coming to a borders near you.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 10:37 a.m.

Buy Buy Buy!


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 9:20 a.m.

Wow! I thought that about a year ago or so, Borders decided to dump a lot of its non-book product lines and get back to selling books. Yet another about-face? I agree that most books will be electronic in the near future because it's what consumers want. Printed volumes will end up like vinyl records - collectors items - provided that the content providers understand that the public expects an iTunes-like model. Since the publishers don't have to print books, sell them to bookstores, or transport a physical product, e-books should be priced accordingly.


Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 9:08 a.m.

Borders has been "bankrupt" a long time. A few years ago I saw something online I wanted, a set of lute music CDs. I called Borders and asked if it was there... you know: See nationally, buy locally. I was told: ain't no such thing. I blithely walked over to Tower Records (while it was still in the Galleria) and bought it right off the shelf. Recently I tried to find a book that was still in print and was told by a clerk at Border's: we can't get it. I went to Barnes & Noble online and ordered it USED for a lot less than new, and it was delivered to my house. I was shopping at Borders Sunday and couldn't find anything. It's been re-re-re-arranged so often... in a library setting users usually learn to browse *by location* (ask anyone who's ever had to teach patrons about call numbers!) "Build-a-Bear"? I hope they're done their market research and are confident of selling thousands...

Top Cat

Wed, Nov 24, 2010 : 8:45 a.m.

My Dexter library has a monthly booksale and I pick up lots of great books for a song. The only reason I go into Borders' is that I am downtown and need to warm up on a cold, blustery day.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 9:10 p.m.

Even with e-books and Amazon, there will always be room for a physical bookstore with a well-chosen selection and a warm, well-informed staff. The trouble is, it's been a long time since Borders filled that niche.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 8:50 p.m.

We only shop at Borders because it is a Michigan based company. We also hope to encourage all our family and friends to support this company during the holiday season.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 8:12 p.m.

I still love the real deal...a hard cover book. However, I order mine from Amazon. The prices are the best and it's fun to have the package arrive at my door step. It is too bad about Borders. It seems the downward slide won't stop

Ryan Munson

Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 7:24 p.m.

I rarely go into a Borders any more. I have my library that is funded through property taxes I pay. Nothing else needed for me. (correction removed apostrophe from Borders, thanks)

Ryan Munson

Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 7:22 p.m.

I rarely go into a Border's any more. I have my library that is funded through property taxes I pay. Nothing else needed for me.


Tue, Nov 23, 2010 : 6:33 p.m.

This is a sad story. I've seen articles on CNN predicting that most books will be eBooks within 5 years. I love having a library in my home, and I especially adore the children's books I've acquired. The illustrations in a children's book can't be replaced with a computer or eReader version. I just don't understand why someone would rather have a digital book..!