Judge Allows Circuit City to Pay Former Employees
Richmond, Va. A U.S. Bankruptcy judge on Friday allowed Circuit City Stores Inc. to continue paying nearly 600 employees laid off at its headquarters before it filed for bankruptcy protection.
Circuit City was in court on Friday for hearings related to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The company filed for protection last month as it faced pressure from vendors and consumers who weren’t spending. Its Canadian operations also filed for similar protection.
The committee representing the company’s unsecured creditors had asked the judge to cease payroll payments and benefits to 588 employees laid off in early November.
The payments would cost the company about $8 million for the 60 days of wages, half of which already has been paid, Gregg Galardi, an attorney for Circuit City, told the judge.
Robert J. Feinstein, an attorney representing the committee, argued that while the committee was sympathetic, it was looking out for the best interest of all constituents.
Circuit City had received initial approval last month to pay the workers through January, but Friday’s ruling made that decision final.
Mattel wins injunction battle against MGA over Bratz licensing
NEW YORK Last night, U.S. District Judge Stephen Larson granted Mattel’s request for an injunction to stop MGA Entertainment from selling certain Bratz products.
“We believe the jury verdict was clear in denying 99% of Mattel’s copyright infringement claim and that issuing such a broad injunction is inconsistent with the limited jury verdict and the law,” said Isaac Larian, ceo of MGA. Larian added that “MGA intends to immediately appeal the injunction Mattel was granted.”
While the order does provide that it will be stayed until February 2009 while the Court considers additional legal briefing on post-trial issues, MGA will request that the stay be extended pending resolution of MGA’s appeal. “We will seek to stay enforcement of this Order until our appeal is resolved so we can maintain the over 1500 people that MGA employs, and continue to give our consumers a product they desire,” Larian stated.
Food, consumables drive BJ’s Nov. comps growth
NATICK, Mass. BJ’S reported that sales for the month of November 2008 increased by 5.2% to $783.2 million from $744.4 million for November 2007. Excluding gasoline sales, merchandise comparable club sales increased by 6.2% versus guidance of 2% to 3%. According to the company, the increase versus guidance was due primarily to stronger sales of food and consumables, particularly during week four.
November sales increased in all regions with the highest increase in Metro New York and the lowest increase in the Southeast region. Comparable-club sales increases were highest in week four and lowest in week three, reflecting a calendar shift in the timing of Thanksgiving.
Departments with the strongest sales increases versus last year included bakery, breakfast foods, computer equipment, dairy, deli, frozen, health & beauty aids, household chemicals, meat, oils, paper products, pet foods, prepared foods, produce, snacks, soda and trash bags. Weaker departments versus last year included apparel, cigarettes, electronics, jewelry, prerecorded video, seasonal, televisions, tires and toys.