The familiar red "BORDERS" sign at Avon and Rochester roads will soon be a memory as the bookstore chain, which filed for bankruptcy in February and failed to find a buyer, prepares to liquidate its entire stock of merchandise.
On July 18, Borders Group reported that Hilco and Gordon Brothers will be administering the liquidation process that began today at many of the 399 remaining Borders stores and will continue through September. The Ann Arbor-based company currently employs 10,700 employees.
"Following the best efforts of all parties, we are saddened by this development," said Borders Group President Mike Edwards. "We were all working hard towards a different outcome, 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."
In Rochester Hills, many shoppers who were taking advantage of the going-out-of-business sale at Borders Friday morning, said they are sad to see the store go.
"I'm sad, and I wish they wren't closing," said Chesterfield Township resident Eric Barnett. "Unfortunatley, it's the nature of the business right now."
"I'm disappointed," said Rochester Hills resident John Krauss. "We like having a local book store. We like having actual books and not just electronic books." Krauss added that he is also disappointed to see another Michigan company fail.
"I don't like it because I like coming up here on weekend nights and sitting, looking at books," said Rochester Hills resident Leslie Dean.
Audrey Swider, a teacher at North Hill Elementary and Rochester Hills resident, agreed with Dean, saying, "I don't like it because I'm a teacher and they give free coupons and discounts."
"I'm disappointed mostly in hearing about 11,000 jobs (going away)," said Rochester Hills resident Steve Norgrove. "My heart goes out to some of those people."
"I find it pathetic," said Shelby Township resident and former Borders employee Lisa McKenzie, who expressed concern that area kids are losing valuable access to books. "They just go in front of the boob tube and the internet, and they say that's all they need."
"For decades, Borders stores have been destinations within our communities, places where people have sought knowledge, entertainment, and enlightenment and connected with others who share their passion," Edwards said. "Everyone at Borders has helped millions of people discover new books, music, and movies, and we all take pride in the role Borders has played in our customers' lives.
"I extend a heartfelt thanks to all of our dedicated employees and our loyal customers."
"They're so popular," said Dean. "I can't believe they would close."