Bankruptcy judge Arthur J. Gonzales approved Borders’ plan to close approximately 200 stores. Under the plan, liquidation sales will begin this weekend — just in time for the Presidents Weekend sales — and is expected to be complete by the end of April. According to documents filed by Borders, it is imperative for them to be able to close these stores as soon as possible because keeping them open costs the company something in the neighborhood of $2 million a week.
What’s interesting about the judge’s ruling is that it waives the usual 21-day waiting period between filing and commencement of liquidation sales. There were concerns expressed because of the absence of a number of landlords who will be impacted by the store closures, but the judge refused to delay the matter. Another concern is from the publishers who want to make sure “the liquidators not sell their books in bulk to a third party that would then try to return them back to the houses.” (Publishers Weekly)
So now we wait. We wait to see if this is the next nail in Borders’ coffin or if they can come back. We also wait to see if the company shutters an additional 75 stores in the next few weeks as they said they might. (This is something I fully expect to see simply because the stores listed for closure do not include all the surviving Waldenbooks.)
Hopefully, the thousands of employees who have just been told their jobs will soon disappear find new employment soon.