Al Maya Group has said it is in still talks with US lawyers to discuss the future of its Borders bookstores in the UAE, after the US company filed for bankruptcy in February.
The Dubai-based firm, which holds the UAE franchise for the bookstore, said it hopes to make an announcement on the status of its outlets within a month.
“We are still in talks with our US lawyers. We still need time, we should know in four weeks,” Mahendra Malhotra, general manager of Borders, UAE, told Arabian Business.
Michigan-based Borders filed for protection from creditors Feb 16, listing debt of $1.29n and assets of $1.28bn. The company is liquidating its assets and expects to lay off about 11,000 employees, after efforts to salvage parts of the business failed during negotiation talks.
The retailer lost business as customers switched to e-readers such as Amazon.com’s Kindle, introduced in 2007. Barnes & Noble invested in its own Nook device to attract customers.
Borders has six stores in the UAE and two in Oman. The Al Maya Group, which also operates supermarkets, opened its first Borders store in 2006 and splanned to expand across the GCC.
The bookseller is one of several international retailers to go bust as customer spending plummeted in the wake of the global downturn.
Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim Fashions in August said it was in talks with the owners of the UK fashion chain Jane Norman after the chain went into administration in June.
Despite a global decline in consumer spending tourists have continued to flock to the UAE’s shopping malls and hotels. The emirate’s hotels outperformed the Middle East significantly in June by posting a 12 percent year-on-year rise in occupancy to 70 percent, according to data from Deloitte and STR Global showed.
Local events such as Dubai’s summer shopping sale helped spur a 14 percent boost in revenue per available room (RevPAR) to $111, the companies said in a joint report in August.
The increase was “an achievement in the face of increased supply,” analysts said, aided by the city’s reputation as a safe haven amid the Arab Spring revolts.
From / Arabian Business News