Feature

The rise and fall of Borders: By the numbers

After 40 years, the once-ubiquitous bookstore chain appears headed for liquidation

After filing for bankruptcy protection in February and closing nearly one-third of its stores, Borders now stands on the brink of a total liquidation, after a bidding deadline passed Sunday evening without anyone making an offer on the bookstore chain ahead of a bankruptcy auction planned for Tuesday. How did it come to this? Here, a brief guide, by the numbers, to the rise and fall of the nation's second-largest bookstore chain:

40
Number of years Borders has been in existence. It was once the second largest bookstore chain in the country, behind Barnes & Noble.

1,329
Number of stores Borders operated in 2005

405
Number of Borders stores still in operation

717 
Number of Barnes & Noble stores still in operation

200
Number of Borders stores that were closed earlier this year, after the company filed for bankruptcy protection

$1.28 billion
Assets Borders listed in its bankruptcy petition

$1.29 billion
Liabilities Borders listed in its bankruptcy petition

$215 million
Amount Jahm Najafi, a private equity investor, offered for Borders earlier this month, in addition to the assumption of $220 million in debt. Creditors objected to the offer

$74 million
Net income loss Barnes & Noble reported for fiscal year 2011

$858.1 million
E-commerce sales, including for Nook e-readers, reported by Barnes & Noble for 2011, a 49.8 percent increase over 2010

7
Number of years, from 2001 to 2008, that Borders partnered with Amazon for online sales, rather than developing its fledgling online bookstore. The Amazon partnership "was viewed by many industry observers as costly to Borders' future," says the International Business Times. Borders also failed to bring its own e-reader to the market to compete with Amazon, as Barnes & Noble did with the Nook.

11,000
Approximate number of Borders employees who stand to lose their jobs if the remaining stores close

Sources: Huffington Post, International Business TimesInternet RetailerNews Tribune, NPR, Portfolio, Wall St. Journal

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