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What Borders' liquidation could mean for competitors

Outside a Borders' bookstore in London

Jeremy Hobson: The Borders bookstore chain is going out of business. The company filed for bankruptcy last year and was supposed to be auctioned off to another company today. But Borders couldn't attract any bidders. So it's closing its doors and liquidating its assets to pay creditors.

Marketplace's Jeff Tyler takes a look at the repercussions.


Jeff Tyler: You may think that the demise of Borders would be good for the industry leader, Barnes & Noble. In the long run, it probably is. But Morningstar analyst Peter Wahlstrom says:

Peter Wahlstrom: It certainly could be short-term pain as you take out the second largest competitor, who would be closing 400 stores.

He says consumers might temporarily abandon Amazon and Barnes & Noble as they chase fire-sale discounts at Borders.

What about the vacant 20,000 square foot superstores left behind? Some expect Borders' real estate could be more attractive than its books. Faith Hope Consolo follows commercial real estate for Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Faith Hope Consolo: Many of Borders' locations are very well-positioned.

She says several furniture and clothing stores are shopping for more space.

Consolo: Urban Outfitters has been on a massive expansion all over the country.

Perhaps the new tenants could hire the old bookstore workers -- about 11,000 Borders employees could lose their jobs.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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