Publisher's Weeklyreports that concerns are growing over the financial stability of Borders Books. Financial news service Debtwire reports that a group of small publishers are frustrated with Borders' slow payments, and are considering legal action.
In response, a Borders spokesperson said, "Borders Group has continued to pay its vendors and is not aware of any material disputes related to its December 2009 payments." Interviews with a number of publishers, both large and small, by PW found Borders to be current with its payments, though one small publisher stopped doing business with the chain at the end of 2008 because of its fragile financial condition. And while one of the large publishers interviewed by PW said Borders was current "on our terms," he nonetheless said the poor holiday performance and the continuing financial struggles of the chain were "very worrying."
The recession has been just brutal on bookstores. The holiday season was a real disappointment for most book retailers, which is leading to questions of financial stability. In any event, Borders is denying there is a problem paying vendors.