Deathwatch: Everything must go as Borders faces final chapter

28 November 2009

retaildeathwatch The collapse of Borders could be bad news for their rivals as the crocked book shop chain launches a liquidation sale today in all 45 of its Borders and Books Etc stores.

With Waterstones’ parent company HMV still mulling over whether to snap up some of the stores, huge dents could be made in their own profits as customers flock to Borders to nab the marked-down stock.

When Borders’ Oxford Street branch closed down earlier in the year (pictured), there were near-riots as punters raced to liberate thousands of drastically discounted books from the shelves. Similar scenes could occur over the next few days across the country.

bordersIf and when the stores close, it could be bad news for the likes of Paperchase, Game, Red5 and Starbucks, who all have concessions in Borders stores. It is estimated that Paperchase could lose as much as £10 million in annual sales.

But hey – if you’re looking for bargain-priced Christmas gifts, and if the price-slashing is drastic enough, Borders could be the place to be today and tomorrow. Cruel but true.

[Thanks for HotUKDeals member alan6012 for the tip-off]

TOPICS:   Debt

17 comments

  • Kevin
    I cannot think that there is any chance for 50%+ off deals this early. That's what happened in Oxford Street. Anyway in many cases it would take 30-40% cuts just to bring the books down to the same price as online stores (or even other physical bookshops in some places). As most of the staff will be losing their jobs (at least until other shops take over the locations) at some point they might as well just sell everything off, but I can't imagine the administrators dumping their stock so cheaply so quickly. But if they do then bargains and lots of books for Christmas presents this year!
  • me
    its 20% off and started yesterday until Sunday...
  • Nice.
    Wanna know where the 50% off sale is?? Amazon. Thats the problem. I hate to remind you, but over 1500 people are about to be made unemployed at Christmas and there aint gonna be many places for y'all to sit about reading magazines whilst sipping your cuntacchinos anymore. But, yeah, enjoy your bargains ya sad fucks. You wont be missed.
  • Kevin
    I'd heard that as well but thought that can't be the liquidation sale mentioned as 20% is bugger all.
  • Chris F.
    everything is 20% off, only a few sections are reduced to 50%, the girl i asked said it was politics and history mainly that were reduced. not really many bargains to be had, frankly.
  • matt
    caution! anyone with a gift card, they are only letting you use a gift card for 50% of the total, so if like my son who has a £10 gift card, you have to spend £10 to use the gift card. I refused to give them any money, I'd rather throw the card in the bin and give my lad a tenner to spend in a decent shop that treats its customers well,
  • roy
    borders always was extremely expensive, especially for DVDs, it was awful. I remember seeing the Alien collection for £60 when it was £15 at everywhere else. Totally terrible pricing, aimed at praying on people who dont shop around.
  • Kevin
    I used my Borders Card (from their deal a while ago where you got a free £10 card if you spend x amount) the other day, knowing that this would happen when they went under. I know not everyone can get to one easily but after everything that happened, especially with Zavvi last year there was no way I wasn't going to use it up! I would have thought most people would have done the same. Kevin
  • sal
    im pretty gutted about borders shutting down, it was my favourite store and when I heard it was in trouble I hoped another company would save it. Smiths or HMV seem good candidates. ive spent many an hr browsing the good selection of mags/books etc then having a coffee. No where else to do this in my area, whsmiths dont compare. Dont know where Ill get the unique magazines from now. Another casualty of cheap internet retailers and supermarkets. Soon enough all thats going to be left in my area is charity shops and supermarkets. :(
  • bwah h.
    I like Borders too. The magazine selection was great.
  • Angry S.
    @ sal "ive spent many an hr browsing the good selection of mags/books etc then having a coffee" - did you mistake it for a library? No wonder they've gone bust.
  • Pissed E.
    Matt you're a heartless bastard! "in a decent shop that treats its customers well," Have you not noticed we're in administration?? Do you not realise over 1000 people could be out of a job just in time for xmas? Do you not realise the gift cards were issued by Borders UK, which technically doesn't exist anymore, and that the administrators technically have every right to NOT accept them at all? Borders management has implemented the 'you can use an egc for half the cost of sale' policy and the administrators have allowed us to do this for the moment, they can stop this whenever they damn well please! Do you realise the amount of verbal and physical abuse shop floor staff are taking at the moment? People who've never set foot in a bookshop in their lives are thinking 'woohoo! closing down sale!' and trashing the place! I hope you and your son have a happy fucking xmas surrounded by nice things that me and my colleagues will not be able to afford!!
  • Pissed E.
    Angry of Scotland, I couldn't agree more. Sal, you sound like a nice lass, but do you realise your browsing without buying is partly the reason we're going down? Too many people stole free gifts off mags, took newspapers into the cafe & did the crossword or took the sports supplements out before dumping them unceremoniously on the floor. Too many people took books/papers/mags into the cafe and spilt coffee/cake all over them. Too many people sat in our lovely comfy chairs and broke the spine of books, thumbed the pages til they tore, put bookmarks in the bit they'd got to and hid the books under the chairs so they could come back the next day and continue reading. Too many people damaged the books to such an extent that we had to dump them in the clearance section therefore losing a fortune. Too many people came in and thumbed through our books then went home and bought them on Amazon at a 'cheaper' price, forgetting they'd need to add postage on at the end. Once Borders has gone all Amazon has to do is kill Waterstones and Smiths and they're fucking laughing all the way to the bank. Once Amazon and Tesco online are the only places you can buy anything anymore you'll all be moaning about the demise of the high street and how shops used to be such useful/fun places to go you'll all be fucking sorry!
  • Kevin
    'Too many people came in and thumbed through our books then went home and bought them on Amazon at a ‘cheaper’ price, forgetting they’d need to add postage on at the end.' Free delivery on most things from Amazon, even when you had to pay £15 for free delivery that was easy enough, only pay for delivery if it's from Marketplace. People went home and bought it on Amazon as it was massively cheaper. Example (Book People not Amazon but same idea) the (not that great) Mock the Week book. I paid £4.99 for it. RRP of £14.99 Even reduced in any of the high street bookshops by £3-£4 I saved £6-7. If the difference is a pound or so thats one thing but without reductions (I bought it before shops started reducing it) it was £10 cheaper. That just can't be matched in physical bookshops (unless a loss leader, which is what the supermarkets do). But when it comes down to it, £10 saving is a £10 saving! I think the whole problem with the people taking things to sit down read is something Borders only had itself to blame as it was something that was pushed when they started in the UK. I have no idea if this was an original Borders US idea (I'm guessing it was from what I've seen) but it was a selling point, that was used to get people in and treat a visit to Borders as something different over the other bookshops. Why didn't that get changed in later years? As for newspapers and broken books that just says to me that staff should have been able to charge people for them. I never saw a sign saying please do not take Borders products into Starbucks. That's another policy issue, theres no way people should have been allowed to get away with it. I think one of the differences about WH Smiths and Waterstones is the type of business they are. WH Smith owns the distribution system as well as the shops. Waterstones is owned by HMV which is doing rather well. Borders was out on it's own, even more so apparently after the buy-out in July. They had the businesses spread out enough to support it in other ways, Borders didn't. Hopefully many staff will be able to get jobs in whatever comes round next. In Cambridge the best thing to do would be to knock through the connecting wall between WH Smith and Borders and make it a giant WH Smith. I never go into WH Smith as it's far too cramped, badly stocked, tacky as hell and has awful opening hours. Good lucky pissed off Borders employee. Hope you are all getting to get some decent stock for yourselves as well.
  • Brian
    What total crap, I can't believe it, I was given a Borders Gift token, to the value of £50.00 only to find out that it has been devalued, apparently, if I purchase books to the value of £50.00 the card will only count as £25.00 and I would have to add another £25.00 to purchase the items. This is ridiculous, totally absurd, definitely won't be receiving my hard earned cash. They want me to pay extra cash on top of the £50.00 already paid, they must be mad. I agree with Matt, and I would rather burn the card than throw away my cash, it's hard, especially when you are unemployed.
  • The B.
    [...] the devil are Borders up to? It’s no secret they’ve tumbled into administration and that their stores are selling off stock ahead of their inevitable closure. In fact, Borders [...]
  • the o.
    I'm in high school, and I got a Borders gift card as a reward for being one of the best pupils in my year at my school. I bought a melee CD with part of it, and I had £10 left to spend. In November, I was walking through my local Borders, as I was looking for notes for the 2 books i am doing for IGCSE English Literature. Unfortunately, they didn't have any, and an employee said that they were in administration. I then bought a £5 book for £2.50 of my gift card and some of my pocket money. Unfortunately, no bookshop in my town had the books i needed. I went to Waterstones, they didn't have it, but they were able to order me a book which had almost all of what I needed (but i haven't got it yet.) I walked past Borders last week, and i was with my brother. I looked at the window, and there was nothing in it. I screamed "I STILL HAVE A BLOODY GIFT CARD!!!!!!!!" and now, i'm here telling you people this because.. well. i haven't a reason. But, if you think about it, we are all to blame. Yes, Borders was a bit pricey. Yes we shouldn't sit in starbucks or wherever and drink coffee whilst taking advantage of what borders had to offer. I feel that this is only the beginning of something bigger. First it was Woolworths, then Threshers? Now it's Borders. Every single high street shop will close if we take advantage of it. Honestly, we will end up with no more high street shops if this keeps up. The recession is the worst we've had in a while. Maybe if taxes weren't to be raised in january 2010, then we could easily get out of the recession quicker! more people would buy things, which'll fuel the economy, and it would stabilise quicker than it is now. And i'm only in year 10.

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