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UPDATE: Borders Tearing out its Manchester Page

The Borders Group is filing for Chapter 11 and Manchester is among 200 store casualties.

Update: 9 p.m. Feb. 18

Closing sales began Friday at six Borders retail stores in Connecticut that will be shuttered by April 30, including the Manchester store. Borders Group, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this week.

In a news release on Friday, Attorney General George Jepsen said he's been assured by company officials that the stores will continue to accept Borders gift cards, Borders Rewards Plus Loyalty Program discounts, Borders Bucks and other merchandise credits during the closing sale.

“We will continue to monitor the situation to make sure Connecticut customers are protected during this time of transition for Borders,” Jepsen said in the release.

The other Borders stores in Connecticut slated for closure include Danbury, Milford, Simsbury, Southbury and Wilton.

For those people who want to return items to the stores that are closing, Jepsen said this:

  • "Consumers may return items purchased before Friday to the stores that are closing, with original receipts and subject to the store’s return policy in effect at the time the item was purchased.
  • Items purchased at the closing stores sales may only be returned for a defect not apparent at purchase. Those returns also require a receipt and must be made within 21 days.
  • Customers with unresolved complaints may contact the Office’s consumer protection department at 860-808-5400."

Original story, Feb. 16:

Borders is turning its books to Chapter 11 and its Manchester store will soon be out of print. 

Michigan-based Borders group, the parent company of the nationwide book and media chain, announced today that it is filing for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as part of a major financial restructuring plan.

Chapter 11 allows a company to operate while formulating a restructuring plan.  

That is not to say it's business as usual. Borders has released a list of "certain underperforming stores" designated for closure, including the  in the Buckland Hills retail district. The list totals about 200 and represents about 30 percent of the Borders contingent. 

The Holyoke, MA, store is also on the Borders hit list. Other Connecticut stores on the list include Danbury, Wilton, Simsbury and Milford. Three stores in Manhattan — on Broadway and Park Avenue — are also in the list.

“It has become increasingly clear that in light of the environment of curtailed customer spending, our ongoing discussions with publishers and other vendor related parties, and the company’s lack of liquidity, Borders Group does not have the capital resources it needs to be a viable competitor and which are essential for it to move forward with its business strategy to reposition itself successfully for the long term,'' Borders Group President MIke Edwards said in a news release. 

Edwards said Borders has received commitments for $505 million worth of debtor-in-possession financing led by GE Capital, Restructuring Finance. The infusion of money ''should enable Borders to meet its obligations going forward so that our stores continue to be competitive for customers in terms of goods, services and the shopping experience. It also affords Borders the opportunity to move forward in implementing the appropriate business strategy designed to reposition Borders to be a potentially vibrant,national retailer of books and other products,'' Edwards said.

The company said that it is ''serving customers in the normal course,'' including honoring its Borders Rewards program, gift cards and other customer programs. The company aid it expects to make employee payroll and continue its benefits programs for its employees.

A manager at the Manchester store politely declined comment citing corporate policy. 

According to Borders spokesman Donald Cutler, store closures will occur over the next few weeks. Cutler could not say exactly when they will be closed or how many employees the restructuring will affect. In general, Cutler said the stores selected for closure were identified because of the economic conditions in the areas, the cost structures and the viability of the locations. 

He said the company looks forward to emerging from bankruptcy as a more vibrant institution.

Borders Group has retained DJM Realty to manage the disposition of  properties designated for closure.

 

SUSAN KINSLOE-BYERS February 16, 2011 at 10:38 PM
Unfortunately not-- Barnes and Noble is nearby. I like Borders and am sorry they're closing-- I liked being able to go to a bookstore without having to go to the mall per se. Staff is always friendly and knowledgeable-- I hope they'll find new jobs in a similar capacity.
Steven Jones February 17, 2011 at 01:18 AM
Agree with you Susan, though I admit I haven't bought there in a long time mainly to afford college. I used to spend about 20-40 bucks a month there. I'll stop by tomorrow though and give them some last sales.
Max Headroom February 17, 2011 at 01:23 AM
I love bookstores, new and used... but I'll freely admit that I've bought 99% of my books via Amazon and ABEbooks for years. Endless selection (especially of older, out of print titles), far cheaper and most purchases arrive within a couple of business days. Brick&Mortar bookstores have too limited a selection (especially in these days where mega-authors crowd out the mid- and back-lists) and have to maintain too high a price structure. I mourn the loss of bookstores, but won't miss them - and I write as author, editor, publisher and inveterate book buyer.

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