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Borders the Latest e-Casualty on University Ave

Bookstore chain to liquidate.

Borders is going the way of the eight-track, buggy-whip and dodo.

The landmark , which opened inside a remodeled Varsity Theater in 1996, is joining 399 other stores nationwide slated to shutter after a failed attempt by the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company to find a buyer.

Local employees reached Monday were told not to comment, but company spokesperson Mary Davis said that the closure is not likely to be reversed.

"We expect the proposal is going to be reviewed and blessed by the Bankrupcy court," she said. If it is, "liquidation will begin Friday."

Davis was unable to say exactly how many employees will be let go downtown, but said the average Borders store employs 20 to 40 people.

Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce CEO Paula Sandas said Borders has been a great retail attraction and will be sorely missed by booklovers.

"It’s disheartening to see what was once a lively retail outlet going dark," she said. "The ultimate liquidation of this retail giant marks the passage of the demand for hard copy books. First internet technology and now electronic reading devices have changed the way people buy and read books."

In a statement released Monday, Borders Group President Mike Edwards said he was "saddened" by the development.

"We were all working hard towards a different outcome," he said, "but the headwinds we have been facing for quite some time, including the rapidly changing book industry, eReader revolution, and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now."

Borders Group announced the news Monday morning. With court approval, the store assets will be sold to Hilco and Gordon Brothers and then liquidated, according to a statement.

"In the absence of a formal proposal from a going concern bidder," the statement said, "it did not require an auction prior to presenting the proposal to the Court at a scheduled hearing on Thursday, July 21, 2011."

Lisen Stromberg July 19, 2011 at 04:13 AM
With Borders and Know Knew Books closing this summer, we have few choices left to buy books in Our Fair City. I can only hope this means we will be making better use of our libraries and that Books. Inc will be expanding.
Mark Weiss August 25, 2011 at 12:28 AM
Now is the time to renew the discussion of cultural programming at the historic Varsity Theatre.

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