Borders Group plans to close its 180,000-square-foot distribution center in Dexter, Mich., by early 2002. The Dexter center is used primarily for the distribution of bargain books, and its operations will be moved to facilities in Mira Loma, Calif., and LaVergne, Tenn. Borders said the consolidation is part of its overall program to take advantage of excess capacity at both those facilities (the LaVergne warehouse is gaining extra space due to the sale of its inventory to Ingram [News, March 26]). The closing will result in the loss of about 80 jobs. The company intends to help those employees find jobs within Borders or at other companies in the Dexter area.

In a final look back at fiscal 2001, Borders's international store operation lost $10.2 million in the fiscal year ended January 31, 2001, on sales of $219.2 million, the company said in its 10-k filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The loss represented 4.7% of sales, the same percentage the division's loss represented in fiscal 2000, when the loss was $7.9 million on revenues of $168.2 million.

Net income at Borders superstores rose 13.3% to $82.6 million in the year on sales of $2.08 billion, giving the division a 4.0% profit margin, the same margin it had in the previous fiscal year. Superstore sales averaged $255 per square foot last year, and the average sales per store was $6.7 million.

Waldenbooks' net income fell 27.5% in fiscal '01 to $40.2 million on sales of $944.2 million, dropping the unit's profit margin to 4.3% from 5.8% in the previous year. The decline in income was due in part to a $7.8-million impairment charge related to 103 underperforming stores. Walden sales averaged $269 per square foot, and the average sales per store was $1.1 million.