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Borders Holiday Sales Decline Nearly 14%


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By : Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 18 Jan 2010


Borders Group Jan. 18 said winter holiday sales for the 11-week period ended Jan. 6 declined 13.7% to $847 million, compared to the prior-year period.

Traditional book retailers continue to struggle as recessionary forces and technology drive consumers online, notably to Amazon.

Sales at Borders superstores fell nearly 15%, including more than 4% for multimedia items such as movie DVDs, Blu-ray Discs and CDs, to $649.2 million. The Waldenbooks specialty retail unit saw holiday sales drop 14.6%, with comparable-store sales (open at least 12 months) declining 9.4%.

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Borders last year said it would shutter 182 Waldenbooks locations in an effort to “right-size” its shopping mall business.

Borders previously announced it would exit the multimedia category, which impacted holiday comp-store sales by 3.7%.

“Given the sales challenge, we have continued to manage cash flow and have taken several important steps in line with our strategic priorities, including moving away from underperforming, low margin categories such as music and video in favor of better performing categories such as children’s,” said Borders Group CEO Ron Marshall, in a statement.

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