Borders announces plans to liquidate

BREA, Calif.

Borders is liquidating its 399 stores nationwide, which means thousands of people are going to be out of work.

The company made the announcement Monday. Borders employees at the Brea location were devastated.

L. Leigh has been a general manager with Borders for 16 years.

"People who need books and information and entertainment, it's a loss. It really is a loss," said Leigh.

The book chain has announced it is liquidating, shutting its 399 stores across the U.S. after failing to find a buyer.

"I'm just shaking, I can't believe," said Borders warehouse worker Mike Pawlak. "I knew it was coming for a couple of years, they were talking about it, but it's no job. In this time and age, that's crazy."

Pawlak has been a warehouse employee for 24 years. He and Leigh are among more than 10,000 Borders workers to face layoffs. In 2009 Borders Group announced the closure of 200 mall stores. In February, Borders filed for bankruptcy.

"Getting the news today, it's upsetting. We tried. We tried. We gave it our best," said Leigh.

The Borders Group president cited a rapidly changing book industry, the move away from brick-and-mortar stores and toward online book sellers, the e-reader revolution and the turbulent economy for bringing the company to where it is now.

"Really sad because I come here every week. Real shock," said Buena Park resident Carrie Salts.

For some loyal customers, they say they're losing more than just the store.

"It still takes away from the community-like hangout, and it's just, I don't know, I'm sad," said Brea resident Amber Carey. "I don't know what I'm going to do."

A bankruptcy court still needs to approve the plan on Thursday.

Leigh says she still hasn't heard a word from the head office but she says if things go through they could start liquidating, offering huge sales here and at other stores starting as early as Friday.

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