Robot 6

Troubled Borders Group lays off 45 at headquarters, distribution centers

Borders Group headquarters

The struggling Borders Group on Monday laid off 40 employees from its headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich., and an additional five from distribution centers, The Detroit News reports.

Just last week, 310 employees were told they’d lose their jobs with the closing in mid-July of the bookseller’s distribution center in LaVergne, Tenn., near Nashville. In addition, the company eliminated 15 regional management positions.

The cuts come as Borders negotiates for a $500 million credit line from GE Capital to buoy the retailer for six to 12 months while it restructures its business.  The company announced on Dec. 30 that it would delay payments to some publishers and distributors, leading some — such as Diamond Book Distributors — to stop shipping to the bookstore chain, the second-largest in the United States. Those publishers have until Feb. 1 to accept or reject a proposal that would convert delayed payments into loans, which would see them take up to one-third of Borders’ reorganized debt.

The bookseller also will close nearly 200 Waldenbooks and Borders Express locations, and 17 Borders superstores, by the end of the month, moves announced before this current crunch.

Jaclyn Trop of The Detroit News has a solid look at the rise and decline of Borders that cites a lack of strong leadership and a slowness in adapting to the Internet as major reasons for the chain’s struggles.

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