Airport Borders store on bankrupt chain’s hit list

Indianapolis International Airport officials could know by next week whether the Borders bookstore inside the terminal will survive a third round of store closures tied to the chain’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company closed three central Indiana locations as part of the reorganization following its Feb. 16 filing. In February and March, it targeted more than 200 “underperforming” stores for closure—about 30 percent of its business.

This month, the company identified another 51 stores it may be forced to liquidate to meet terms of an agreement with its lenders, including the Indianapolis airport location. Many of the stores on the list are among the most profitable in Borders’ portfolio or have the most affordable rent, the company said in a June 9 U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing.

“The liquidation of these stores may not maximize their value for the benefit of creditors and will result in a significant loss of jobs,” the petition said.  

Borders Group Inc. said it is still negotiating to extend the deadline, but without an agreement would have to begin store-closing sales by June 22 to avoid default on the terms of its credit agreement.

Jerry Wise, the airport’s treasurer and retail director, said there is high demand for the space currently occupied by Borders, leaving the airport with options if the store closes.

A different brand of bookstore is one possibility, he said, but the retail space also could be used for another purpose. Still, Wise said bookstores tend to be very successful at airports. Indeed, Indianapolis International has seven such shops.

“Customers can still fill that need” if Borders leaves, he said.

Borders already closed stores in downtown Indianapolis, at the Shops at River Crossing near the Fashion Mall and in Carmel. It also has locations in Castleton, Greenwood and Noblesville.


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