By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
Book shoppers are poised to take bittersweet advantage of last week’s announcement that Ann Arbor-based Borders Group Inc. will sell off its massive inventory.
The company’s 399 stores nationwide, including locations at Taylor’s Southland Center and a Borders Express in the Southgate Shopping Center, were expected to begin liquidation sales this weekend. The manager of the Southland Center store in Taylor, who declined further comment per company policy, said that the liquidation sale began Friday. The Southgate Borders Express, 13667 Eureka Road, also began sales heading into the weekend.
Company officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Last week Borders announced they were seeking court approval to sell store assets to Hilco and Gordon Brothers, which will administer the liquidation process.
In a press release, Borders Group President Mike Edwards said that the economic situation and competition from e-books and on too difficult an obstacle to overcome for the company, which employs approximately 10,700 workers.
“The headwinds we have been facing for quite some time,” Edwards said, “have brought us to where we are now.”
Liquidation under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, for which Borders in February, is expected to conclude in September, after which Borders expects to reimburse vendors for any expenses incurred during bankruptcy.
More than 200 Borders stores were already closed, including one in Dearborn, during the reorganization in preparation of bankruptcy.
Borders opened its first store in Ann Arbor in 1971, and was owned from 1992 to 1995 by Kmart Corp. before branching off as a separate company.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected])