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A Sad Liquidation Day for 40-Year-Old Borders Books

But Geneva city officials are hopeful for a new tenant for the 24,000-squre-foot retail space on Randall Road.

The legal terms in the final chapters of the Borders Books & Music story sound like phrases from a fairy tail fantasy you might find on the shelves of the 40-year-old franchise—"stalking horse," "white knight bidder" and even "safe harbor."

But this fairy tale doesn't close with a happy ending. Borders stores—including the — are preparing for final liquidation to begin as soon as Friday, with the process completed with the closing of its remaining 399 stores by the end of September.

Borders filed with bankruptcy courts on Feb. 16, and since then has seen few knights in shining armor.

“Following the best efforts of all parties, we are saddened by this development, but the headwinds we have been facing for quite some time, including the rapidly changing book industry, eReader revolution, and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now,"  Borders Group President Mike Edwards said in a July 18 press release.

Mary Davis of Borders Group, Inc, told Patch on Thursday morning that the liquidation approval from the court will most likely be final at the conclusion of an 10 a.m. court hearing.

Davis said Borders was operating 1,200 stores at its peak.

Davis underlined that that Kobo e-readers will still have access to a vast inventory of digital books and that outstanding gift cards will be honored.

“They can be redeemed throughout the liquidation period," she said.

City of Geneva Business Development Specialist Paul Evans said of the Borders bankruptcy was a sign of the times, but he's hopeful the prime retail space will be filled quickly.

“They talk about the Kindles and Nook and maybe they missed the market on that with a 24,000-squre-foot facility," he said. "(But) we’ve been fortunate that Geneva is still a good market. Given that, we hope this would be one of the stores the next successor would retain—if we are lucky that way.” 

Mayor Kevin Burns said the city laments the loss of any Geneva business.

“We're sad to lose Borders bookstore, as they have been an important part of Geneva's South Randall Road Corridor and a popular destination for residents and visitors alike," he said.

  • Editor's note: This is the first of a two-part series on the Borders bankruptcy. Part 2 will include the community reaction, and a special offer from a local bookseller for Borders gift card holders.

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