As of September of 2011, all Borders bookstore locations have closed. At the time of the announcement that Borders would be shutting its doors permanently, there were 399 stores across the country, which had 10,700 employees. Borders had been the second most popular brick-and-mortar bookstore in the country, coming in just behind Barnes & Noble.
The original Borders bookstore was located in , where it was founded in 1971 by brothers Tom and Louis Borders during their undergraduate and graduate years at the . The Borders brothers' inventory system tailored each store's offerings to its community. A sister company, Book Inventory Systems (BIS) (1976–1994), was founded to serve as a wholesaler for and provide the brothers' custom inventory system to regional such as John Rollins, Thackeray's, , and . Former president Robert F. DiRomualdo was hired in 1989 to expand the company.