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Run for the Borders!
I told you back in January and now I really mean it: If you have a Borders gift card you’ve been meaning to redeem, do it now. Now. Let the dog walk himself. Skip the weekly lunch bunch. Tell your boss you have to leave early because you have to meet the sprinkler guy. Whatever. But go as soon as you can, either directly to the store, or online, and cash out that card.
Borders, the long-troubled bookstore, announced Monday it was ending its effort to sell off its assets and would begin liquidation under Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, with stores closing as early as Friday. The liquidation process will run through September.
For now, the company’s websites still cheerily promise that its business operations continue as normal, but that’s only because it hasn’t updated the pages since it began to seek a buyer for itself. Borders’ gift cards terms and conditions page online, for instance, hasn’t been updated since last October.
So get in gear if you have Borders gift card. There are no guarantees how long it will be good, and every moment you wait, the pickings get slimmer. History says there’s a chance another store may honor them in an effort to win the loyalty of former Borders buyers, but don’t count on it.
We wrote a story in late 2008, as the recession was really deepening, about how to get the most from bankrupt retailers’ gift cards, and the advice still holds. The most important advice: Act fast. There’s likely to be a run on the Borders merchandise.