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Borders to shut Alameda store

Submitted by on 1, February 16, 2011 – 12:16 pm12 Comments

Updated 2:23 p.m. Wednesday, February 16

Big-box bookseller Borders announced today it’s in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings and that it plans to shutter 200 stores, including its Alameda Towne Centre location.

The 23,868-square-foot, two-story Alameda store opened in May 2008. Closures are to be made over the next several weeks, according to a company press release on Borders’ reorganization.

“This decisive action will give Borders the opportunity to achieve a proper infusion of capital in order to have the opportunity to have the time to reorganize in order to reposition itself to be a successful business for the long term,” Mike Edwards, Borders Group president, was quoted as saying in the press release.

The company has received $505 million in financing commitments from a group led by GE Capital.

The company is closing 30 percent of its stores across the country which it considers to be “underperforming,” including 35 in California, 11 of which are in the Bay Area. Stores to be closed include the Ann Arbor, Mich. bookseller’s Union Square location in San Francisco and stores in the Fremont Hub in Fremont and Metro 580 Shopping Center in Pleasanton.

The bankruptcy filing followed years of declining sales and months of missed payments to vendors, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The company had put itself up for sale in March 2008 due to financial difficulties; by early January, its stock price had fallen to less than $1 per share. In its bankruptcy filing, the company listed $1.275 billion in assets and $1.293 billion in debts.

The company was founded in 1971 by brothers Tom and Louis Borders while the pair attended the University of Michigan; it now owns 513 bookstores, including Borders and Waldenbooks outlets.

The center’s new owners, Jamestown Properties, didn’t immediately have a comment on the planned store closure.

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