It’s all over for Borders, the nation’s second largest bookselling chain, which announced today that it was canceling an upcoming bankruptcy auction and will close it doors. The company explained that it was unable to find a buyer capable of salvaging all or some of the remaining 400 Borders stores, and that it was selling itself to a group of liquidators led by Hilco.
The demise of Borders, which championed manga and graphic novels that were a key part of its product mixed, will be felt by comic book and manga publishers, but the real tragedy here is that nearly 11,000 hardworking Borders employees will be lose their jobs and will be cut adrift in the midst of a jobless recovery, which could slide back into something even worse if Congress cannot get its act together and figure out a way for the government to pay its bills.
According to several inside sources Borders had been engaged in some last minute negotiations with Books a Million, the nation’s third largest chain, but it became clear today that no deal was forthcoming. Earlier this month Borders had picked a stalking horse bidder that might have kept at least part of the chain going (see “Border Picks Lead Bidder”), but that deal was torpedoed by a group of creditors who determined that they would get more if Borders were liquidated (see “Borders Moment of Truth Approaches”).