Borders Group reported holiday sales that were, by the assessment of its own CEO, disappointing. For the 11-week period ended January 16, total sales for the bookstore chain fell 13.7%, to $846.8 million, with same store sales down at both the company's superstores and Waldenbooks specialty group. Comp sales fell 14.6% at Borders's superstores, with overall sales for the group down 14.7%, to $649.2 million. Excluding multimedia sales, comp store results at the superstores declined 10.9%. At the Walden segment, total sales were down14.6%, to $153.2 million, with comp sales off 9.4%.

"We are disappointed with holiday results and must intensify our focus on creating and delivering a shopping experience that delivers profitable sales," said CEO Ron Marshall. The holidays were seen by many industry members as an important indicator of how Borders's new initiatives were being received by customers, but despite devoting a considerable amount of resources to drive sales, Borders's results were well below those of rivals Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million, and the retailer continues to struggle to find ways to boost its top line. With little sign that sales will turnaround, Marshall said "We will continue to focus on reducing expenses and improving working capital to drive improved cash flow and debt reduction as we address the clear priority to drive profitable sales."