As you probably already know, Borders Bookstores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today. As part of this filing, they announced that they’d be closing one third of their stores. Will this filing have an impact on their SF stores? You bet your Kindle it will!
Borders presently operates 642 stores, including about 500 “superstores” and 100 smaller Waldenbooks locations. Out of those, they plan on closing 200 of the superstores, but may eventually close as many as 275, according to court documents. All in all, about 6,000 jobs will be lost.
And a segment of those jobs will be lost in San Francisco, as, as Andrew S. Ross points out, both the Borders in Union Square (400 Post Street) and in the Westfield Mall (845 Market Street) will be biting the dust. (You can see the full list of closing stores here, under “Exhibit 1”) At least for now, the Stonestown Mall Borders remains in business.
According to Reuters, Borders will begin closing stores as soon as Saturday, but it seems like SF’s stores might stick around a bit longer — a representative I spoke to at Borders’ Post Street location said their clearance sale would begin Friday, but that he did not know how long the store would stay open after that.
“Are you guys just going to stay open until you get rid of most of your stuff?” I asked. “No, I don’t think so” he replied.
A representative from Borders’ Westfield store said that employees hadn’t been told anything yet, on a closing date or on merchandise sales.
Neither representative had any information on what Borders’ termination plan is for employees, or if any workers would be transferred to the remaining location at Stonestown.
Disclosure: I am friends with Christine Borders Bronstein, daughter of Borders founder Louis Borders. However, Kmart acquired Borders in 1992 and, as far as I know, neither Chris nor her family has had any involvement in the company since.