OPERATIONS

Books-A-Million abandons bid to buy 30 Borders stores

BY CSA STAFF

Birmingham, Ala. — Books-A-Million said late Monday that it was unable to put a deal together to acquire the leases and assets of 30 Borders bookstores out of bankruptcy.

"The company’s efforts to secure the inventory, fixtures, equipment and leasehold interests for 30 Borders stores has ended unsuccessfully because the parties could not agree on terms and the going out of business sales at these locations commenced," Clyde B. Anderson, Books-A-Million CEO, said.

"We worked exhaustively in an effort to acquire these stores and reach agreements with all of the parties whose consent was necessary. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful,” Anderson added.

Borders Group filed for bankruptcy protection in February, and received court approval last week to liquidate all 399 stores. The retailer said at the time it was talking to Books-A-Million about buying 30 to 35 store leases and inventory.

A group led by liquidation firms Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Group are now holding going-out-of-business stores at all Borders stores.

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NPD names home improvement director

BY CSA STAFF

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. — The NPD Group Inc. has named Kevin Gilbert as director of home improvement, reporting to Perry James, the president of home and office supplies.

Prior to joining NPD, Gilbert was VP client solutions at SymphonyIRI, where he managed the Diageo and Kraft accounts. In addition to his role at SymphonyIRI, Gilbert spent many years in the packaged goods industry in category management, sales development, and trade planning roles, working with such companies as Kellogg, Bayer, and Pinnacle Foods.

In his new role, Gilbert’s key focus will be to develop and launch a new point-of-sale (POS) service for the home improvement business.

“Kevin’s strong syndicated marketing research and point-of-sale background will certainly make our focus on a new home improvement POS service a reality,” said James. “Our home improvement team looks forward to working with Kevin as we continue to build the business.”

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Sales down at RadioShack as company reworks wireless offerings

BY CSA STAFF

FORT WORTH, Texas — RadioShack reported that total net sales and operating revenues from continuing operations for the 2011 second quarter were $941.9 million, compared with $962.3 million for the 2010 second quarter. According to the company, the decrease in total net sales and operating revenues for the 2011 second quarter was driven by a $76.1 million decrease in sales generated by U.S. company-operated stores.

Net income was $24.9 million, or 24 cents per diluted share, for the 2011 second quarter, compared with $53 million, or 41 cents per diluted share, for the 2010 second quarter.According to RadioShack the decline in income was impacted by costs related to phasing out T-Mobile inventory and with closing its manufacturing plant in China.

While it is phasing out its T-Mobile inventory, the company will be adding Verizon Wireless products and services to 4,300 U.S. stores beginning Sept. 15. Effective Sept. 14, the company will cease offering T-Mobile wireless products and services in its U.S. company-operated stores.

Jim Gooch, president and CEO, said, "Our second-quarter results reflect a number of short-term transitional changes related to our wireless carriers. We are working diligently to position RadioShack for future growth in the wireless space, and our new relationship with Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest wireless provider, is an integral piece of that program. With our new portfolio of carriers, we are delighted to offer customers what we consider to be the best mobile offerings on the market.

Comparable-store sales for company-operated stores and Target Mobile centers decreased 7.8% during the 2011 second quarter. The decline was primarily attributable to the decline in Sprint and T-Mobile postpaid wireless sales, RadioShack reported. Lower sales of digital-to-analog television converter boxes and related television antennas, digital cameras and camcorders, and digital music players also contributed to the decrease in sales, the company said. These decreases were partially offset by higher postpaid wireless sales from AT&T.

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