INVENTORY

Books-A-Million makes offer for 30 Borders stores

BY Marianne Wilson

Birmingham, Ala. — Books-A-Million confirmed it has submitted a bid to purchase, among other things, the inventory, fixtures, equipment, and leasehold interests for 30 Borders locations. Under the proposed bid, Books-A-Million will assume the leases for these locations and continue to operate these stores. The move comes as Borders Group, after winning court approval, begins to liquidate its business.

Books-A-Million currently operates 231 stores in 23 states and the District of Columbia. With the liquidation of Borders, Books-A-Million will officially be the nation’s second-largest bookstore chain, after Barnes & Noble. The majority of its stores in the Southeast, but the Border deal could expand its reach as about half of the 30 stores that could be acquired are in the Northeast, including eight in Pennsylvania.

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News

Pres. of Coinstar DVD rental biz resigns

BY CSA STAFF

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Coinstar announced that Mitch Lowe has resigned as president of the company’s DVD rental kiosk business, redbox. Lowe has resigned to pursue entrepreneurial and other interests, and will continue to serve as president until a successor is named. Coinstar has commenced an external search to identify a new president of redbox.

"On behalf of Coinstar and the redbox organization, I want to thank Mitch for his many contributions over the last eight years, particularly in establishing redbox as a leader in the home entertainment business," said Paul Davis, CEO of Coinstar. "A true entrepreneur, we wish him the best as he pursues other passions. I am also excited for the future of the redbox business, and as such, we will be seeking a new leader to help us realize the next chapter in the redbox growth story."

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OPERATIONS

Blockbuster to keep 1,500 stores open

BY Marianne Wilson

McKinney, Texas — Blockbuster announced that it has assumed contracts with property owners nationwide and will maintain operations of more than 1,500 U.S. Blockbuster stores that would have closed under liquidation, as approved in a New York bankruptcy court this week. The chain also will retain more than 15,000 store employees.

"We’re pleased that we will continue to operate more than 90% of the stores that were offered at auction in April," said Michael Kelly, president of Blockbuster. "By lowering pricing and offering competitive summer promotions, we’ve brought millions of customers back into Blockbuster stores in the last three months to experience the best in convenience, choice and value.”

In April, Dish Network Corp. purchased Blockbuster in a bankruptcy auction. In a counter move to rival Netflix, which recently raised its subscription rate, the retailer has been touting lower rental prices.

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