Borders Group sales drop 13.7% during holiday season

Ann Arbor, Mich. Borders Group reported a 13.7% drop in total sales for the 11-week holiday period ended Jan. 16, to $846.8 million.

The company called the results "disappointing" and said it is taking steps to manage cash flow and move away from low-margin, underperforming categories such as music and video.

Within its superstore segment, sales fell 14.7% to a total of $649.2 million. Same-store sales at the Borders superstores were down 14.6%, but factoring out multimedia, same-store sales were down a less-sharp 10.9%. Gross margins improved in December as it reduced promotional spending.

Within the Waldenbooks Specialty Retail segment, total sales fell 14.6% to $153.2 million. Same-store sales for Waldenbooks stores that will remain open beyond the end of this month declined 9.4%. As reported, Borders Group is closing 182 Waldenbooks Specialty Retail stores.