Monday, March 26, 2007

Borders Threat to Quit Scotland

Borders - Closure ThreatBookshop giant Borders last week threatened to close all of its stores in Scotland and the UK.

The surprise announcement, which potentially threatens up to 2000 jobs across the country, could see the sale of one of the most important book chains who have bases in Edinburgh and Glasgow city centre.

The US-based company has had its flagship store at the former Royal Bank of Scotland site in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street since 1998, and the prospect of the store disappearing from the A-listed building will be a massive blow to Glasgow.

They also have a store in Fort Kinnaird on the outskirts of Edinburgh, as well as four other smaller stores around Scotland.

The threat to sell off the 71 chain of UK stores follows an announcement in February that Borders' overseas arm - 70% of which is concentrated in the UK - lost over a quarter of a million pounds in the last trading year, against a profit of £6million the previous year.

The company said it was considering the sale as part of a "strategic review" brought on by the "challenging retail environment".

The news also comes after HMV, which owns Waterstone's, issued its second profits warning since the start of the year and announced a rescue plan to try to boost flagging sales, which could see the closure of up to 30 Waterstone's outlets.

Bookworld, BArgain Books, and BW are also closing branches throughout Scotland, as reported here a couple of weeks ago, as the industry by the whole attempts to stave off competition from online book outlets.

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