FINANCE

Movie Gallery Files for Bankruptcy

BY CSA STAFF

Dothan, Ala., Movie Gallery announced Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, to realign the company’s business operations and restructure its debt.

Joe Malugen, chairman, president and CEO of Movie Gallery, said the chain needs to realign its cost structure due to the ongoing changes in the industry.

“Although the company has taken numerous steps to reduce its debt and strengthen its balance sheet through closing unprofitable stores, headcount reductions and other means, these actions were not sufficient to offset the significant shift in our business and the cost of our substantial debt obligations,” Malugen said. “After careful consideration of all available alternatives, the company’s Board of Directors determined that a Chapter 11 filing was a necessary and prudent step and the best way to obtain the financing necessary to maintain regular operations and allow for a successful restructuring.”

Movie Gallery’s Canadian subsidiary was not a part of the filing and will continue operating outside of the Chapter 11 cases.

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CEA predicts 7% jump in holiday CE sales

BY CSA STAFF

ARLINGTON, Va. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is forecasting a 7% increase in holiday sales of consumer electronics with laptop computers and video games leading the way.

The CEA projects $48.1 billion in consumer electronics sales for the 2007 holiday season. “Consumer electronics will be the shining star of holiday retail sales, accounting for 22% of all gifts given,” said CEA economist Shawn DuBravac.

A CEA survey shows the top 5 wish list items for CE gifts this year include laptop computers, video game systems, digital cameras, MP3 players and big screen TVS. The 7% jump in sales forecast for this year would be less than half the 15% increase from 2006.

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Fortunoff ties the knot with celebrity wedding planner

BY CSA STAFF

UNIONDALE, N.Y. Fortunoff has hired a new bridal spokesperson to provide couples with bridal registry and event planning, the company said last month.

Mindy Weiss, dubbed the wedding planner to the stars, will use her expertise and provide customers with creative party planning ideas, interior decor tips and utilize her skills with in-store events, visual merchandise presentations and online interactions to make a client’s wedding as stress-free as possible.

Weiss made a guest appearance last month at the company’s White Plains and Westbury stores to provide her creative tips and knowledge of wedding trends for brides-to-be.

“Mindy will be an exciting new complement to Fortunoff’s 85 years experience… [as] one of the nation’s leading tabletop, housewares and jewelry merchants,” said Fortunoff ceo Arnie Orlick.

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