It's the last chapter for books venture Borders

Sales bargains galore with all stores to close by Christmas Eve

A decade ago, Borders was launched amid much fanfare as a fresh alternative for lovers of literature, a place where they could also pick up a coffee and a CD. Yesterday there was an equally eclectic but much sadder sale going on as the bookseller flogged off its remaining stock, fixtures and fittings, with all of its stores predicted to close by Christmas Eve.

The sale is likely to prove a bonanza for the money-conscious seasonal shopper. Unusually, among the items on sale are a range from Denby Pottery, and it is understood the Charing Cross Road branch is inviting people to make an offer on a piano.

Reports said that staff were expecting "Countdown to closure" signs to be put up in its stores today, with the fixtures at 14 stores already on sale. A notice on the company website which urges customers to come in and pick up a bargain as "All stores closing – hurry, final weeks!" adds: "The Administrators would ask that all customers and suppliers treat the staff with patience and courtesy as this is an extremely difficult and uncertain period for all employees."

Borders UK, which was launched in Britain by its parent US company in 1997, was supposed to offer an alternative to the traditional book seller with outlets in out-of-town shopping malls. But it has proved a victim of modern times, losing much of its sales to online retailers such as Amazon and supermarket giants. This summer, Philip Downer, the chief executive of Borders UK, insisted its future was secure after a management buyout. But three weeks ago, it went into administration, putting more than 1,000 jobs at risk, after it failed to find a buyer.

MCR, the restructuring and insolvency company, appointed by its management said the retailer, which trades from 45 Borders and Books Etc stores, had collapsed due to the increasingly competitive book market. In the year to February 2008, Borders UK's pre-tax loss widened from £10.3m in 2007 to £13.6m. That same year, Tesco, which already had a 6 per cent share of the UK book market by value and 10 per cent by volume, announced its intention to overtake Borders as the UK's fourth largest bookseller behind Waterstone's, W H Smith and Amazon.

Phil Duffy, the joint administrator at MCR, said that staff would continue to be paid as an expense of the administration while the closing-down dales continued.

Borders UK was bought from Borders Group, its US parent, for £10m in 2007 by Risk Capital Partners, the private equity group controlled by the entrepreneur Luke Johnson. But he resigned in July leading to the management buy-out of the group, backed by Valco, the private equity arm of Hilco.

Earlier this year, Valco acquired Denby Pottery, the 200-year-old manufacturer of premium tableware, in a management buyout.

HMV Group, which owns Waterstone's, believes it could benefit from the demise of Borders. The company, best known as a high street music and DVD retailer, suffered a half-year pre-tax loss of almost £25m, weighed down by the performance of Waterstone's.

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished

TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies

Arts and Entertainment
Australia's Eurovision contestant and former Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastian

Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under

Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Former Communards frontman Jimmy Somerville
music
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Public Service Broadcasting are going it alone
music
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne as transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
filmFirst look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Arts and Entertainment
Season three of 'House of Cards' will be returning later this month
TV reviewHouse of Cards returns to Netflix
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford will play Rick Deckard once again for the Blade Runner sequel
film review
Arts and Entertainment
The modern Thunderbirds: L-R, Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John in front of their home, the exotic Tracy Island
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
    Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

    Lost without a trace

    But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
    Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

    Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

    Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
    International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

    Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

    Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
    Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

    Confessions of a planespotter

    With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
    Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

    Russia's gulag museum

    Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
    The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

    The big fresh food con

    Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
    Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

    Virginia Ironside was my landlady

    Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
    Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

    Paris Fashion Week 2015

    The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
    8 best workout DVDs

    8 best workout DVDs

    If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
    Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

    Paul Scholes column

    I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
    Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

    Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
    Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

    Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

    The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable