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Borders Books Bankrupt

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (CBS4) – Borders Group, which operates several stores in the South Florida area, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday morning.

Even though they are in bankruptcy protection, only one store in South Florida will be closed. The Borders store in Fort Lauderdale on Sunrise Boulevard is set to close under the bankruptcy plan.

“It has become increasingly clear that in light of the environment of curtailed customer spending, our ongoing discussions with publishers and other vendor-related parties, and the company’s lack of liquidity; Borders Group does not have the capital resources it needs to be a viable competitor,” Borders president Mike Edwards said in a prepared statement.

The company, which is 40-years-old, will close all of its Borders superstores, which makes up roughly 200 of the company’s 642 stores across the country. The company plans to continue operating smaller stores it owns including Waldenbooks and Borders Express stores.

According to the bankruptcy filing, Borders has roughly $1.28 billion in assets and $1.29 billion in debts as of December 25, 2010. The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based chain has suffered as books became more of a digital entity and the company failed to keep up with the evolution of e-readers.

CBS Miami news partner the Miami Herald reported that sales of books fell 5 percent in 2010 to 717.8 million. However, those numbers don’t include book sales at Walmart stores.

Borders said that it will continue to serve customers in the normal course and will continue to honor the Borders Rewards programs, gift cards, and other customer programs. The company also said it should make employee payroll and continue the company’s benefits programs for its employees.

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