With Sunday’s deadline passed and no bids to keep Borders open as a going concern, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal, it is growing increasingly likely that the troubled retailer will begin going out of business sales as early as Friday. Although an auction is slated for Tuesday afternoon, the only bid on the table is one by a group of liquidators led by Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers. Close to 400 stores and 11,000 employees would be affected by the closing. At its peak in 2003, Borders had 1249 stores.
Borders declined to comment this morning on either the lack of bids or the possibility that another book group, such as Books-A-Million, could come in and purchase a significant portion of the chain. The intellectual property, which includes the name and Web site, will also be auctioned, and some retailers may try to obtain some leases. Early on in the sales process, it had been rumored that rival Barnes & Noble was interested in 10.