This past Saturday, I was able to combine two of my interests, books and bankruptcy, in a trip to the Borders Going Out of Business Sale. Actually, my eldest daughter demanded that I take her there. However, I was happy to indulge her and I thought it would be interesting to see what a going out of business sale looked like.
We went during the initial, orderly stage of the sale. There was still a wide selection of books available. The shelves all contained labels saying "Fixtures not for sale." The sale looked like a very successful marketing strategy. The books we bought were marked down 20-30% with an extra 10% off with a Borders card. Those prices were good, but not much less than a typical sale. Nonetheless, the store was packed with customers, so it appears that the GOB hype was successful in bringing in the purchasers even before the discounts got deep.
When we went, employee morale appeared to be pretty good. The clerks were doing a good job of moving customers through the line and were friendly. However, I did overhear a clerk telling a customer that he didn't know when the store would be closing and that the employees were the last to know what was happening. However, his tone was matter of fact rather than frustrated or angry. I imagine that after he answers the same question a hundred more times, there may be more of an edge to the response.
I plan to return to the late stages of the sale to see what whether the orderliness and calm continues to prevail as the store enters its death spiral.
Credit Slips has a good take on Borders abuse of the venue provisions of the Code. You can find it here.