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Blockbuster wins court approval to draw from bankruptcy loan

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Blockbuster, which filed for bankruptcy Thursday, won court permission to draw $20 million of a $125 million loan that will let it operate while it reorganizes to emphasize online rentals.

The court approved the loan Thursday afternoon at a hearing in Manhattan. Blockbuster said it will only spend $10 million before Sept. 27. In its Chapter 11 filing, the company said that it had agreed with a group of bondholders on a plan of reorganization and secured the loan to finance operations in the meantime.

In a Bloomberg report, Blockbuster CEO James Keyes said the chain has not made any decisions about store closings, which will be “a consideration” during the bankruptcy case.

“We’ll literally be evaluating every single store,” he said. Keyes also said in the report he hopes the company will emerge from bankruptcy in the first quarter.

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Best Buy, Toshiba introduce kid-friendly laptop

BY CSA STAFF

IRVINE, Calif. – Best Buy has partnered with Toshiba to launch the first kid-friendly laptop, available exclusively at Best Buy, Toshiba announced. The Satellite L635 Kids’ PC is a full-size laptop made for children aged five to 10 that provides a suite of entertainment and education software and allows parents to help ensure their children are staying safe on the Web.

The Satellite L635 Kids’ PC features a 13.3-inch diagonal HD display1, a built-in DVD drive and Webcam with software designed specially with a younger user in mind.

“The laptop has traditionally been a device conceived and built for adults, and devices currently being marketed to kids are either netbooks or toy-based computers,” said Jeff Barney, VP and general manager Toshiba America Information Systems, digital products division. “As a result of this collaboration with Best Buy, we have made a product that provides the right measure of fun and entertainment for children while meeting the computing needs and security concerns of their parents.”

The Satellite L635 Kids’ PC is available exclusively at Best Buy beginning Sept. 26.

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Survey finds disconnect between consumer, retailer view of private brands

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK – According to Deloitte’s "The Battle for Brands in a World of Private Labels" study, when asked how market share of store brands will change in the United States by 2012, 77% of CPG executives and 90% of retail executives surveyed indicated it will increase or increase significantly.

Fewer than two out of 10 executives surveyed believe consumers view store brands as likely to be manufactured by the traditional national brands, while eight out of 10 consumers surveyed during Deloitte’s "2010 American Pantry Study" believe that most store brands are manufactured by the traditional national brands, Deloitte reported. In addition to the disconnect around manufacturing of store brands, 85% of consumers also indicated that they have found several store brands that are just as good as national brands and as a result have little reason to switch back.

"Though conventional wisdom has co-branding between retailers and CPG companies as a win-lose proposition, the results of our study indicate that nearly half of retail and CPG executives agree that working together may be the best way to win the wallets of the ‘new consumer,’" said Pat Conroy, vice chairman and Deloitte’s U.S. consumer products practice leader. "What they need to consider are variations on current brands and what new innovations should be brought to market so as not to overwhelm an already substantial marketplace."

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