Timeline: A short history of Borders Group bookstores

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Borders Group Inc has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The No. 2 U.S. bookseller, which operates namesake superstores as well as the smaller Waldenbooks chain, has contended with double-digit comparable sales declines for two years.

Here are some key dates in Borders’ history:


Tom and Louis Border found Borders Book Shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Kmart buys Borders, then a Michigan-based chain of 21 book superstores in the Midwest and Northeast. In 1984, KMart buys Waldenbooks.


Kmart spins off Borders-Walden Group in an IPO and changes its name to Borders Group.


Announces plans for an international superstore chain that would have 1,000 locations. At that point, it had 203 stores.


Launches Borders Online, but analysts fault it for being late to embrace e-commerce.


April: Company buys toy retailer All Wound Up, a deal that harms its liquidity. The plan foretells Borders’ intention to expand its toys and games selection in late 2010 to diversify its offerings.


March: Hires Merrill Lynch & Co to review options, including a recapitalization, leveraged buyout or combination with another company.


April: Announces a deal with Inc to relaunch Borders’ money-losing e-commerce site and feature’s books and music offerings.


Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square takes 11 percent stake in Borders, saying its shares are undervalued and could rise to $36 from $23.92. Ackman says fears of the threat from online retailer are “exaggerated.”


March: Says it might put itself up for sale, but never finds a buyer. It also gets $42.5 million loan from Ackman’s firm and says it would have faced imminent liquidity problems without it.

May: Barnes & Noble puts together a team to look at a merger with Borders. Separately, Borders launched its own web site.


April: Says it expects only 50-60 of its Waldenbooks stores to survive in the long term. It had 564 in 2006.


Jan 28: Announces cuts of 10 percent of corporate jobs.

March 31: Repays $42.5 million loan to Pershing Square, gets more credit and posts a profit on cost cuts. Shares jump.

July 7: Launches e-book store, eight months after Barnes & Noble.

December 6: Ackman offers to finance a merger with larger rival Barnes & Noble Inc..


January 27: Borders says it gets conditional refinancing commitment from GE Capital and warns it may seek an “in court restructuring,” meaning a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

January 30: Borders says it is delaying payment to vendors and landlords, among other creditors.

February 4: Borders gets warning from New York Stock Exchange about low share price, says it could be delisted.

February 16: Borders files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection in Manhattan.

Sources: Reuters archives, Borders Group website

Compiled by Phil Wahba