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Movie Gallery liquidating all 181 stores in Canada

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles Movie Gallery’s Canadian subsidiary has begun liquidating all 181 of its video rental stores, including 50 stores that were potentially up for sale but no longer are.

Net proceeds from the sale of inventory worth an estimated 48 million Canadian dollars ($47 million) will be used to fund a proposal by the company to pay its Canadian creditors, including landlords and employees, Movie Gallery said.

The Canadian unit, Movie Gallery Canada, is not in bankruptcy proceedings.

Wilsonville, Ore.-based parent Movie Gallery filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February.

Last month, a U.S. bankruptcy judge approved the American company’s plan to close 1,050 stores and liquidate its assets, in a move expected to generate $62 million (see related story). The company operates U.S. stores under the names Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery and Game Crazy.

In Canada, the stores operated under the Movie Gallery and VHQ banners. The unit had delayed liquidation as it sought a strategic buyer, but it recently declined all offers and decided to liquidate the stores.

The Canadian stores, which operate in every province but Quebec, are expected to close by July 31.

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Burger King Goes Green in Germany

BY Marianne Wilson

Burger King Corp. has gone green in Germany, with the opening of an energy-efficient restaurant in Waghausel. The eco-friendly design, developed in cooperation with Wirsol Solar AG (Baden-Wurttemberg), uses state-of-the-art technologies and renewable energy to power one-third of the restaurant’s energy consumption, reducing energy costs by 45% and the emission of CO2 by more than 120 metric tons annually.

"This new energy-efficient restaurant uses renewable energy systems, such as solar photovoltaic and wind turbines that are estimated to save nearly half of this restaurant’s yearly electricity costs," said Jonathan Fitzpatrick, senior VP franchise operations for BKC’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

The restaurant features the chain’s sleek and futuristic store design, dubbed “20/20,” while also incorporating an array of eco-friendly technologies and energy-efficient construction elements, including:

* Interior heat-recovery ventilation system that cools and heats the restaurant, saving 73% of energy consumption per year;

* Long-lasting interior and exterior LED bulbs saving more than 55% of energy consumption annually;

* Excess heat loss is captured to generate hot water, conserving 50% of energy usage annually;

* A wind turbine contributing up to 2,500 kWh to the restaurant’s power supply was added to the traditional exterior logo sign;

* Photovoltaic and wind energy systems that save up to 45% of electricity annually; and

* More than 720 solar photovoltaic modules that generate over 53,500 kWh of electricity per year.

The restaurant also has a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station for hybrid cars and a rainwater reclamation system for landscape irrigation.

In addition, the new Burger King uses an energy-efficient broiler (Duke Flexible Batch Broiler) that maximizes cooking flexibility while reducing gas consumption and related costs by 52% and electricity consumption and costs by 90%. All the company’s restaurants in North America have installed the broiler and the international rollout is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.

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Limited Brands sells remaining stake in Limited Stores

BY CSA STAFF

COLUMBUS, Ohio Limited Brands announced the sale of its remaining 25% stake in Limited Stores, LLC. Under the transaction terms, Limited Stores, LLC, which operates retail locations called The Limited, purchased Limited Brand’s remaining interest in the company for $32 million.

In 2007, Limited Brands sold a 75% stake in Limited Stores to an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners, a private investment firm that now owns 100% of Limited Stores. Limited Stores has more than 220 mall locations throughout the United States.

“This sale supports our focus on intimate apparel, personal care and beauty products,” said Leslie Wexner, chairman and CEO of Limited Brands.  “We wish our long-time partners at Limited Stores continued success … this transition further enables both teams to win.”

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