The Borders Story: Is This the Final Chapter?

Posted on January 24, 2011 at 5:53pm by

Borders’ story reads like an epic saga – one in which our tragically flawed hero seems destined for certain failure.

As the book-selling giant seeks a new credit facility to stave off a bankruptcy filing, the question of whether or not this is the final chapter for Borders has attained new currency. But if the history of Borders is any foreshadowing, dark days would appear to be awaiting the company, whether this week, next week, or further along in its narrative.

Today’s No. 3 bookseller began as a two-room used bookstore in the college town of Ann Arbor, Mich., founded by brothers Tom and Louis Borders. But the brothers did more than pioneer an iconic book storebthey also designed a sophisticated inventory tracking system that superseded conventional databases of the time. (This, however, would prove to be one of the few instances in which Borders was a primary adopter of new technology.)

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