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Borders closes for good: What consumers need to do next

Consumer Reports News: July 19, 2011 12:53 PM

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Borders Group decided yesterday to close its remaining 399 Borders and Waldenbooks retail outlets after attempts to find a savior for its Chapter 11 woes failed. The store closings, which affect 10,700 employees, could begin as early as Friday if a federal bankruptcy court judge approves of the company's liquidation plans.

As with other retail chain store closings, such as Circuit City and Linens 'n' Things, Consumer Reports experts suggest consumers take the following steps when dealing with bankrupt businesses:

  • Use any Borders or Waldenbooks gift cards immediately or you'll run the risk of the cards soon becoming worthless.

  • Resist the urge to splurge. As we've found with previous chain closings, retailers can sometimes charge more at liquidation sales.

  • Pay by credit card. If you have issues with your purchases, you may be able to dispute the charge with your credit card company. This is especially useful for CDs, DVDs, computer software, audiobooks, and e-book readers such as the Kobo Wireless eReader.

And in regard to the Kobo e-reader, current owners shouldn't immediately worry over the future of their device. In a statement released to Forbes, the Toronto-based Kobo start-up said:

In June Kobo and Borders began transitioning Borders’ customers’ eBook accounts to Kobo to provide direct access to the most up to date eReading functionality, apps, and devices. Kobo owners will continue to use their eReader devices as usual and browse and shop for new titles in the Kobo Store with no interruption in service.

The e-reader company, which Borders had a minority stake in, says its Kobo eReaders will still be available at other retailers such as Best Buy, Sears, and Walmart. (Check our Buyers guide to e-book readers to determine if the Kobo reader is a good choice for you compared with market giants such as the Amazon Kindle or B&N Nook. Subscribers can access our Ratings of e-book readers for detailed reviews.)

Borders to shut down for good after deal collapses [Detroit Free Press]
Calling Off Auction, Borders to Liquidate [NY Times]
E-Reader Maker Kobo Responds To Borders’ Liquidation News [Forbes]

Paul Eng

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