Borders to Decide Fate of 75 Stores This Week


>by Judith Rosen, http://www.publishersweekly.com:


In a brief conference call to vendors Friday afternoon, Borders CEO Mike Edwards said that the company will make a decision this week on whether or not to close 75 more stores, an option it reserved in its first-day filing to close 200 stores. If it decides to close more outlets, the stores will be selected from among Borders’s 285 superstores. “We do not anticipate closing our small-format stores or airport stores,” Edwards said.

Edwards also emphasized that it is “critical” for Borders to get new merchandise into its stores. The 20 largest publishers, who accounted for 63% of Borders’s sales in 2010, are shipping cash in advance. The retailer would like to normalize terms with them and all vendors. According to CFO Scott Henry, Borders is paying all vendors and landlords on time, and sales in its go-forward stores have exceeded expectations.

 Although Edwards doesn’t anticipate having a business plan until April, he said that the new right-sized Borders will have a refreshed merchandise strategy and new layout and reflect Borders’s commitment to e-books.

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