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Borders Book Stores Prepares To File For Bankruptcy

by Sean P. Aune | February 12, 2011February 12, 2011 7:00 am PST

The Borders book chain may file for bankruptcy as early as next Monday or Tuesday.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Borders chain of book stores has abandoned efforts to restructure its debt, and is instead preparing paperwork for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing early next week.  While the company is not commenting on what its exact plans are, it is believed that the book seller will close 200 of its current 674 stores across the United States at the cost of thousands of jobs.

While it’s certain that there were many contributing factors leading up to this situation, it’s pretty unanimously believed that it is a combination of not just the current economic climate that has brought it to this point.  The company’s failure to make a major push into the online sales field, and the lack of a prominent e-reader solution in an age where customers are growing accustomed to near instant gratification are certain to have not helped the situation.

“I think that there will be a 50% reduction in bricks-and-mortar shelf space for books within five years, and 90% within 10 years,” chief executive of Idea Logical Co. Mike Shatzkin, a New York consulting firm, told the paper. “Book stores are going away.”

So, where will retail chains such as Barnes & Noble turn in the coming years?  That particular chain expanded its children’s book & toy section by 300 square feet per store prior to this past holiday season.  While it’s doubtful they will fill their entire retail stores in a similar fashion in the coming years, there is definitely going to be a change in product mixes in the next few years.

What say you?  What can retail book stores due to save themselves in this new digital age?

[via The Wall Street Journal]

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...