A BBC article reports that Borders U.K. has ceased taking online book orders and suggests that the company “does not have enough cash to last until Christmas.” The article caps a bad year for the beleaguered company, which operates 45 stores throughout the U.K.
Last December, Borders U.K. had its credit insurance cut off, in July CEO Philip Downer led a management buyout of the company, and earlier this month it reportedly jettisoned its Web team, after apparently investigating the possibility of outsourcing its website administration to an independent contractor. In addition to news that the website is no longer fulfilling orders, The Bookseller is reporting that one major distributor is refusing to ship to Borders and that W.H. Smith has backed away from an offer to purchase the company.
According to an email leaked to The Bookseller issued by The Book Service Ltd and Grantham Book Services, the distributor stopped Borders UK and Books Etc accounts earlier in the week. The distributor represents Random House, Little, Brown and the Independent Alliance companies.
According to the website Retail Week, W.H. Smith approached Borders to express interest in a buyout, but walked away from talks at the end of last week without reaching a deal.