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Chain bookstore Borders to close last store in Singapore

(Xinhua)

16:00, September 29, 2011

SINGAPORE, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Bookstore chain Borders will close its only remaining outlet in Singapore on Monday, in the latest chapter of a wave of failure of high street book stores that had started with the bankruptcy of its former parent firm in the United States.

The outlet at Parkway Parade will close its doors at 9:00 p.m. on Monday and the store is now offering a 70 percent discount on all stock there, local daily Straits Times reported on Saturday.

The bookstore chain closed its flagship store in Singapore at Wheelock Place in August following rental disputes with its landlord. Media reports said the store has found it difficult to keep the store running after the rental surged in August 2008.

The bookstore appointed a judicial manager recently but several buying offers were turned down because they do not want to take over the entire shop space at the only remaining store at Parkway Parade, said Tim Reid, who works with recovery firm Ferrier Hodgson, the judicial manager of Borders.

The final nail in the coffin came on Wednesday, when the United States company terminated the right of Borders Singapore to use the Borders brand name and gave it 90 days to cease all activities.

"The licensing is gone. We had to have a business case to commit to a new lease," Reid said.

The Borders Singapore store was formally a unit of the U.S.- based Borders Group, but was sold to the REDgroup Retail of Australia in 2008 as the U.S. firm ran into difficulties. The U.S. firm declared bankruptcy in Feburary. The REDgroup Retail also entered voluntary administration mired in debt recently.

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