20 March 08 | Chad W. Post

Not necessarily international lit related, but this is pretty big news (from Shelf Awareness:

Borders is putting itself up for sale or may sell divisions. It has suspended its dividend. It is borrowing some $42.5 million from the hedge fund that is its largest shareholder. [. . .]

[CEO George] Jones added that Borders believes that its 2009 financial targets “remain attainable, yet within the current economic environment, we will be slowed in our progress and expect that we’ll reach them later than originally planned. Still, we believe our strategic plan remains the right path toward achieving these goals.” This plan includes the imminent launching of the company’s website on its own, the spread of “new concept” stores that emphasize digital offerings, the display of more titles face out and a related reduction in inventory of 5%-10%, among other initiatives.

Anything involving a “reduction in inventory” makes me shudder, especially since I can make an educated guess as to what type of books will fall into that 5-10% . . . Depending on how this plays out, Borders could look entirely different in five years, as could the retail industry for books as a whole.


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