College textbook wholesaler and college bookstore chain giant, Nebraska Book Company (NBC), has filed for bankruptcy protection today in Delaware via a recent story on Reuters.
Alan Siemek, Chief Financial Officer, of NBC said:
The relative decline of our campus stores’ performance is due to a combination of online textbook sales, and more recently textbook rental programs, which have been successful in attracting “value shoppers” away from our campus book stores
Really Mr. Siemek?
“Value shoppers” are to be shamed for leaving your higher priced textbooks sitting on the shelves versus buying cheap textbooks online or getting a textbook rental? No wonder you have been experiencing declining earnings – perhaps you are a little out of touch with college students no longer wanting to pay exorbitant prices for textbooks?
NBC said it lost nearly $100 million in its latest fiscal year on revenue of almost $600 million. This filling follows only months after Borders Group Inc., the nation’s second largest bookstore chain, filed for bankruptcy in February. Each company sited mounting debt payments and declining brick and mortar store sales to online book sellers.
According to court filings in Delaware, NBC had $650 million in assets and $560 million in debt as of their initial filings on February 14th, 2011.
Nebraska Book Company was founded in 1915 with a single physical bookstore near the University of Nebraska campus. Since that humble beginning they currently operate over 280 bookstores on or near college campuses, and remain a large textbook wholesaler to even some of their sited textbook rental competitors. The main rivals of NBC include Barnes & Noble and partner Follett Higher Education Group in addition to MBS Textbook Exchange, Inc. founded in 1909 in Columbia, Missouri as the Missouri Store Company.
Nebraska claims it has lined up $200 million of new financing to keep operating in bankruptcy while it hopes to get court approval for debt restructuring.
NBC’s textbook buy back site, BookleBerry, suddenly had their cash for textbook prices disappear without warning a few weeks ago – we now know why they stopped offering to buy back textbooks.