May 26, 2011, 4:12 PM

Web sales were the sole area of growth for Borders in 2010

E-commerce grew 19.5% as same-store sales decreased 10.5%.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

Bankrupt books retailer Borders Group can claim e-commerce as a bright spot in an otherwise dour year financially in 2010.

In its recently filed annual report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission—delayed for about 30 days as the retailer continues to restructure under Chapter 11 bankruptcy—Borders reported:

  • E-commerce sales through Borders Direct grew by $11.8 million in 2010. Based on web sales published in earlier versions of Border’s annual report, Internet Retailer calculates e-commerce revenue grew year over year 19.5% to $72.2 million from $60.4 million.
  • For the year ended Jan. 22, total sales for Borders, No. 200 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, decreased 15.7% to $2.25 billion in 2010 from $2.67 billion in 2009.
  • Comparable-store sales decreased 10.5%.
  • Net loss was $299.0 million compared with a net loss of $109.4 million in 2009.

 Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 3.2% of total sales in 2010, compared with 2.3% in 2009.

Borders didn’t break out quarterly data.

In its annual report, Borders discusses its bankruptcy proceedings and says it’s counting on e-commerce and electronic books strategies to transform itself into more of an online retailer as it emerges from bankruptcy. “We expect to use emerging technologies across all channels to attract customers and deliver a valued experience which we anticipate will drive sales,” the company says. “We plan to continue our development of, including an expansion of the product categories offered, site optimization and improved customer personalization.”

Borders also says in its annual report the company expects to finish closing about 226 underperforming stores by the end of May.

Borders filed for bankruptcy in February with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The retailer is still work on its restructuring plan and has yet to announce a date for emerging from Chapter 11.


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