By Jennifer Glickel
MANHATTAN — Major bookseller Borders has filed for bankruptcy and three of the chain's Manhattan locations will close as a result, the company announced on Wednesday.
Overall, Borders Group plans to close approximately 200 of its 642 stores in the next few weeks. Borders stores on Rector Street, at Second Avenue and 32nd Street and 57th Street and Park Avenue will be shutting down.
"It has become increasingly clear that in light of the environment of curtailed customer spending, our ongoing discussions with publishers and other vendor related parties, and the company's lack of liquidity, Borders Group does not have the capital resources it needs to be a viable competitor," Mike Edwards, Borders Group president, said in a statement.
The company will continue to function normally, honoring gift cards and its customer rewards program.
Regular customers of the Borders store at Park Avenue and E. 57th Street were disappointed to hear that the location would be closing in the coming weeks.
"It's sad to hear this location will close because I think this is the best location that they have," said Upper East Side resident Olsi Gjeci, 26, who visits the Borders a few times a week.
"I like the view here and it's quiet and nice, and I come all the way from the Upper East Side because I like this one so much."
Other Borders regulars frequent the bookstore café to take advantage of the free wi-fi.
"It's a great place to come and kill a few hours and is a comfortable place to sit with free internet," said Midtown East resident Jim Sissman, 34. "I guess I'll go to Starbucks instead from now on."
For some, though, Starbucks doesn't provide the same kind of amenities as does Borders.
"There's no other places around here to sit, relax, and read a book," said Christian Martinez, 23, of the Bronx. "Not only do they sell books, but also magazines, maps, games, movies, and music — all things you can't get at Starbucks. It's also much more convenient than the public library."
Borders would receive $505 million in debtor-in-possession financing from GE Capital to help in the reorganization process, the company announced.
Borders had $1.28 billion in assets and $1.29 billion in debts as of Dec. 25, according to the Chapter 11 filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York.