Borders Group, Inc. (Specimen)

Borders Group, Inc. (Specimen)
Item# 4286bgi

The original Borders bookstore was located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it was founded in 1971[3] by brothers Tom and Louis Borders during their undergraduate and graduate years at the University of Michigan. The Borders brothers' inventory system tailored each store's offerings to its community. A sister company, Book Inventory Systems (19761994), was founded to serve as a wholesaler for and provide the brothers' custom inventory system to regional independent bookstores such as John Rollins, Thackeray's, Schuler Books, and Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Until Borders Superstore expansion occurred in the early 1990s, BIS serviced more independent stores than Borders stores. Former Hickory Farms president Robert F. DiRomualdo was hired in 1989 to expand the company.

The first Borders bookshop, with a meager stock of used books, was located in two rooms above 209 State Street, north of the State Theater; curiously, these rooms' previous renter was one James "Iggy" Osterberg, who went on to become punk rock pioneer Iggy Pop. From there the brothers soon moved, briefly, to a tiny ground floor + mezzanine operation in the Maynard House apartment building, on the southwest corner of William and Maynard Streets. In 1981 they bought out the stock of Wahr's, an 80-year-old bookstore that was ending business at 316 South State, and moved into that location. Wahr's had been mainly a textbook and school supplies vendor, but the brothers did not deal in textbooks. Soon after the move back to State Street, they switched entirely from selling used books to new ones, and then leapt at the chance to occupy much larger quarters that had become available across State Street, in the former location of the Wagner & Son men's clothing store. The current flagship store is in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan at the corner of Liberty and Maynard Streets, in the building once occupied by the now defunct Jacobson's Department Store. Although not the original location, it is still identified as "Borders #1."

Borders was acquired in 1992 by Kmart, which had acquired mall-based book chain Waldenbooks eight years earlier in 1984. Kmart had struggled with the book division, having first tinkered with the assortment and later with discounting. In the Borders acquisition, Kmart merged the two companies in hopes that the experienced Borders senior management could bail out floundering Waldenbooks[citation needed]. Instead, much of the Borders senior management team fled the company, leaving an even larger and more unwieldy division for Kmart executives to handle, on the heels of aggressive expansions by rivals Barnes & Noble and Crown Books. Giving up on the division entirely in 1995, at the beginnings of its own fiscal problems and under intense pressure from stockholders, Kmart allowed Borders to buy itself out through a highly-structured stock-purchase plan. The newly liberated company was initially called "Borders-Walden Group," but had changed its name to the "Borders Group" by the end of the year.

Unable to find a seller willing to get it out of bankruptcy, Borders announced on July 18, 2011 that it will close its remaining 399 stores and go out of business by the end of September.

Close Up of Vignettes

Certificate: Common Stock, specimen, late 1900s

Printer: American Bank Note Company

Dimensions: 8 (h) x 12 (w)

State: MI-Michigan

Subject Matter: Retail and Related | Book Stores | Specimen Pieces

Vignette Topic(s): Allegorical Featured | Cartoon Characters | Multiple Scenes

Condition: No fold lines, punch hole cancels in signature areas and bodies. Very crisp.

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