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Sales down at Borders

ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders Group reported that second-quarter sales were $526.1 million, down 11.5% from the same period a year ago, with comparable-store sales declining by 6.8%. Sales were positively impacted by Borders.com, which saw a second quarter increase of 56.2% over the prior year, to $15.5 million.

The company said it generated a second-quarter loss from continuing operations of $51.6 million or 74 cents per share compared with a loss of $45.1 million or 75 cents per share for the same period a year ago, driven primarily by decreased gross margin.

"While we continue to succeed in strengthening our financial structure, we are highly focused on driving profitable sales and increasing market share," said Mike Edwards, CEO of Borders. "Based on extensive consumer research, we are doing a number of things to excite our customers going into the critical holiday shopping season, including launching our new Borders Rewards program, which includes the new paid Borders Rewards Plus. Recognizing that online and digital will be a significant part of our business moving forward, we are focused on increasing our share of the e-book market by growing our digital offerings to position Borders as the preferred destination for digital reading.  Yet as we grow our online and digital business, we cannot underestimate the importance of our brick and mortar presence. This will be top of mind as we work on improving the in-store experience by shifting our product mix to include additional non-book products that are both compelling and relevant, and providing an escape for our customers though an inspirational in-store environment and consistent customer service."