Friday, November 06, 2009

Borders Accelerating Store Closures

Borders announced yesterday that it "is accelerating the pace of closing stores in its Waldenbooks Specialty Retail group."

According to Publishers Weekly:
[Borders] will shut approximately 200 outlets in January. The retailer has been steadily closing its mall-based stores since 2001 and will have about 130 mall stores after the downsizing is completed. Stores to be closed fall under the Waldenbooks, Borders Express and Borders Outlet names. Superstores are not part of the downsizing nor is the company’s mall kiosk business and airport stores.
Borders CEO Ron Marshall described the initiative as "right-sizing" Borders' presence in the communities it serves. The press release also said:
With the store closings in January, approximately 1,500 positions--the majority of which are part-time jobs--will be eliminated. Employees have been informed of the right-sizing plan and efforts will be made to place qualified individuals in other positions within Borders Group. Displaced employees will receive severance.

The mall-based right-sizing initiative has been ongoing at Borders Group for a number of years as the retailer has closed underperforming Waldenbooks Specialty Retail stores annually as part of its overall turnaround strategy. The company shuttered 112 stores in the segment in fiscal 2008 and from fiscal 2001 through 2007, closed an average of 66 stores per year within the Waldenbooks Specialty Retail segment.
You can see the tentative list of stores to be closed here.

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