Borders Group (BGP) fought off filing for bankruptcy as long as possible but the bookstore chain couldn’t fight off the inevitable. On Wednesday, Borders filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection.
The bankruptcy filing is horrible news for shareholders of the company. Long suffering shareholders will be wiped out for holding onto this stock. I never understood why anyone was investing in this stock. The long-term fundamentals were horrible. The writing had been on the wall for a long time at Borders. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and the e-book frenzy have killed off most bookstore chains. The last company standing intact is Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS).
Borders' bankruptcy filing is however good news for the chain. The company is seeking to close 30% of its stores and has received access to $400 million of its $505 million bankruptcy financing from GE Capital. That’s roughly 193 of its 642 stores. Borders is now trying to change its business model by getting more into digital distribution and selling more non-book products.
I still don’t see how Borders will reinvent itself. The company is years behind Amazon in the digital distribution game and remains behind Barnes and Noble in the traditional bookstore business. I just don’t think that the market is big enough for Borders to be a viable player.
Back in December of 2008, Borders Group was included in my post about Dead Companies Walking. Since that time Borders and Blockbuster (OTC:BLOAQ) have gone bankrupt. The next big chain that I expect to bankrupt is Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD). The company is suffocating under its massive debt load. Rite Aid’s terrible same store sales numbers can only be explained away by management for so long.
What national chain do you expect to go belly up next?