Closing down sale begins at Books Etc

<p>Books Etc is likely to vanish from the British high street by the end of the year after the small chain launched a closing down sale this week.</p><p>Philip Downer, chief executive of parent Borders UK, confirmed that six Books Etc shops in London and two Borders Express stores had &quot;moved into a clearance format in the past few days&quot;. He said that the eight shops would remain open until at least Christmas. &quot;We&#39;re not specifically stating that we have a closure date in mind,&quot; he added.</p><p>Publishers were sent an email by supply chain manager Andy Adamson about the situation last week. The email said that &quot;following a strategic review of the Books Etc stores, the decision has been made to cancel all outstanding orders&quot;. It requested that &quot;no further orders&quot; be shipped, and added that &quot;a further announcement will follow in due course&quot;.</p><p>One publishing sales director said: &quot;It&#39;s not much of a surprise as Borders has been trying to get rid of the chain for some time. It looks like the shops will be run down to bargain stores and then left until the next quarterly rent is due just before Christmas.&quot;</p><p>Downer said that Books Etc staff would be moved to other Borders stores &quot;where possible&quot;. The Bicester Village Books Etc branch will continue to trade as normal.</p><p>He added that while he was seeking to dispose of individual sites to other retailers, he would happily entertain offers for the whole chain. Last week at Borders&#39; annual conference, he left the door open for new Borders stores, saying the chain was looking for growth &quot;opportunities&quot;.</p><p>The Books Etc chain was founded in 1981 and had 35 outlets by 2004. Following the purchase of Borders by Luke Johnson&#39;s Risk Capital Partners in 2007, there have been persistent rumours that the Books Etc stores would be put on the market. Borders sold eight branches to Waterstone&#39;s in August 2008, and earlier this month closed its branch in Staines.</p><p>Downer also confirmed that gadget retailer red5 would start operating in Borders stores. </p><p><a href="../in-depth/feature/100334-what-next-for-borders.html" target="_blank">Flagship interview with Philip Downer.</a><br />&nbsp;</p>