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Borders (BGP), the second largest bookstore chain in the country, may soon be nothing more than a memory. But the big question is: who’s going to pick up the business?  Borders had five rounds of layoffs in 2010 and began 2011 with the departure of five top executives, including the CIO and general counsel. It closed 200 shops in the U.S. and also plans to close its Tennessee distribution center which employs more than 300 people. The company is heavily in debt to the tune of over $445 million as of October 30, 2010.  Some publishers have stopped shipping books to them altogether and in-store appearances have ended. While some insiders want to strike a deal, others hope for the company to declare bankruptcy, so at least they will have legal protection for recent shipments. Without a top down overhaul of everything from its management to merchandising the remaining stores and a digital plan, it’s not likely that Borders can survive in the long term.


1.  What is the difference between Chapter 11 and Chapter 7?

2. Do the Borders brothers still own the chain?

3. According to Rosenwald, what led to the downturn in Borders’ success?

Source: Dishman, L. (2011). Borders’ Death Knell: Chapter 11,7, or Simply the Final Chapter., January 13. (Retrievable online at;content)

Rosenwald, M.S. (2011). Borders struggles to hold off final chapter, Washington Post, January 20 (Retrievable online at

You Tube Video. (2009). A Tribute To Borders Bookstore (UK), December 22 (Retrievable online at