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Borders is Dead, Long Live the Kobo

by Emily Price | July 20, 2011July 20, 2011 9:15 am PST

While Borders stores are shutting their doors, the Kobo e-reader will live on. Borders went to bankruptcy court earlier this week with a proposal for the chain to be purchased by the Hilco and Gordon Brothers liquidation company. In an official announcement, Borders Group President Mike Edwards said “We were all working hard towards a different outcome, 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.”

Despite the fact that the bookstore is shuttering its doors, the Kobo e-reader which was sold at the chain will continue to live on. In a statement, Kobo indicated

“In June Kobo and Borders began transitioning Borders’ customers’ eBook accounts to Kobo to provide direct access to the most up to date eReading functionality, apps, and devices. Kobo owners will continue to use their eReader devices as usual and browse and shop for new titles in the Kobo Store with no interruption in service.   Kobo continues to grow in the U.S. and around the world and we’re very pleased with progress of the launch of the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition and European office with Kobo Germany.”

While the e-reader was sold in Borders stores, it is also sold at several other locations including Walmart, Sears, and Best Buy.

There’s no doubt that Borders’ demise is due in part to the e-reader industry. It will be interesting to see whether the Kobo will be able to rise from the ashes of the chain or will eventually be put out of business by other readers.

Update: Hilco and Gordon Brothers did not buy Borders, but rather bid for and won the rights to sell the inventory, fixtures, and equipment with the 399 Borders locations. Ownership of the Borders assets remains with Borders.


Emily Price

Emily has been obsessed with computers since the early 80s when she discovered she could play Ghostbusters on her father's Commodore 64. She...