Stopped Shipments A Death Knell for Borders?

borders bookstore Stopped Shipments A Death Knell for Borders?Independent booksellers have license to smirk as Borders’ precarious finances force publishers to halt shipments to the retail giant.

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc. is the first to stop shipping books to Border’s retail locations, reports the The Wall Street Journal, with Hachette Book Group and Sourcebook, Inc considering the same.

Rowman executive Jed Lyons told the Journal that even though Borders has until recently been “paying like clockwork,” “when a customer of that size calls you up and says you aren’t getting a check, that’s a piece of information you have to act on.”

Borders announced late last week that in spite of hopeful holiday sales it would have to stop paying some suppliers while it refinances debt.

Borders, which operates 676 stores, was reported to be bidding on rival Barnes and Noble earlier this month, in hopes of teaming up against digital competitors Amazon and Google Books (and anti-trust laws). The offer was led by major Borders’ shareholder and hedge fund manager William Ackman.

We imagine the plot of You’ve Got Mail could be a useful investment tool, finally, but we can’t remember how it ends.

kstoeffel@observer.com :: @kstoeffel