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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing