1,100 bookshop jobs lost days before Christmas

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The Independent Online

Around 1,100 staff at struggling book chain Borders will lose their jobs on Christmas Eve after efforts to sell the business failed.

Administrators MCR had been in talks with would-be buyers but said it had not been possible to sell any part of the business as a going concern.

The firm has 45 Borders and Books Etc stores across the UK which will close on December 22, with staff finishing work two days later.

Borders went into administration at the end of last month after coming under severe pressure from internet competition during the past year.

MCR is still in talks with potential buyers for assets of the business such as store leases, although this will not save any jobs.

But MCR has assured staff that they will be paid for the days worked since the group fell into administration.

Nearly 40 head office staff at Borders have already lost their jobs since MCR was appointed, although the stores continued to trade.

The business has struggled with severe cashflow pressure this year after sales declines accelerated.

Stock levels were also hit as several of the company's suppliers stopped or reduced its credit limits, while a number of credit insurers reduced their cover for the firm.

The chain opened in the UK in 1997 and was originally owned by the US book giant of the same name.

But the UK and Ireland arm was sold to buyout group Risk Capital Partners - headed by Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson - in 2007.

Management, led by chief executive Philip Downer and finance director Mark Little, then bought the group back with financing from Valco Capital earlier this year.