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Tattered Cover Accepts Bid From Barnes & Noble, Poised To Sell For $1.8M

Tattered Cover on East Colfax Avenue in Denver

The Tattered Cover accepted a sales offer from bookstore giant Barnes & Noble for up to $1.8M in cash, The Denver Post reports.

The deal will reportedly cover Tattered Cover’s four remaining brick-and-mortar stores. The agreement was supported by the bookstore’s parent company, investment group Bended Page.

The deal allows the Tattered Cover chain to keep its name and continue its events program. Barnes & Noble will reportedly cover Tattered Cover’s $1.6M in secured claims and will pay $50K in back rent.

The corporation will also extend the leases on Tattered Cover’s stores — its Colfax Avenue location through 2038 and its Aspen Grove store until 2030. 

Along with the Colfax and Littleton locations, Tattered Cover has stores in Aurora and at Denver Union Station. It also has licensed its name to a store at Denver International Airport.

If approved by the bankruptcy court, the closing should take place by the end of July.

Tattered Cover sold to Bended Page in 2020. The bookstore chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October and closed three of its seven metro Denver locations.

A planned auction for Tattered Cover was canceled shortly before its start last week, followed by news of Barnes & Noble's bid.

In a statement reported by The Denver Post, Tattered Cover interim CEO Brad Dempsey said the sale “creates the nation’s first true hybrid bookstore, a bold and sustainable response to a marketplace that is dramatically different from when Joyce Meskis operated Tattered Cover for so many decades.” Meskis died in late 2022.

Retaining the Tattered Cover name while continuing operations under Barnes & Noble is something that B&N CEO James Daunt has done in the United Kingdom, Publisher’s Weekly reported. The company has acquired several independent UK bookstore chains and retained their original branding.

“The mission and spirit of Tattered Cover remains strong, with new resources, technology and renewed energy,” Dempsey said in his statement.