In what I’m sure must surely be a coincidence, the owner of Borders in Australia (and part owner of Kobo Books) has filed paperwork asking for the court to appoint an administrator. RedGroup Retail, the owner of Borders (AU), Whitcoulls, and Angus & Robertson, made this request after a board meeting today.
Under US law, the equivalent would be filing for bankruptcy protection, but it’s not quite the same in Australia.
In administration, someone other than the owners of RedGroup Retail will be making the decisions as they try to prevent the company from going all the way under.
This should not have come as a surprise. Redgroup have been having trouble since before July 2010. And in the long run, Redgroup might actually be in a worse position than Borders US. One unfortunate aspect of the Australian book market is that it is set up to price gouge the customer. This makes it significantly more likely that Australians will buy online, which means far less likely than Americans to buy from a local store.