Play ball! J.C. Penney’s former CMO to open baseball camp
New York City — Mike Boylson, formerly executive VP and CMO of J.C. Penney, has traded retailing for baseball. The 32-year J.C. Penney veteran, who officially stepped down from the company on July 1, and a friend are opening a franchise of D-Bat, a baseball and softball training academy, Advertising Age reported. The facility is due to open this fall.
Boylson’s new venture will be located in Allen, Texas, not far from J.C. Penney’s headquarters in Plano. According to the report, the 27,000-sq.-ft. location will feature batting cages, including a designated "showcase cage" with clay pitcher’s mounds, a pro-shop and a parents’ lounge. Other offerings include classes, camps and clinics.
Industry experts have speculated that Boylson’s sudden retirement was the first part of a general houskeeping that would occur under new incoming CEO Ron Johnson. But Boylson had no idea about Johnson’s impending appointment when he told J.C. Penney CEO Myron “Mike” Ullman that he planned to retire early, according to the report. Boyson is 56.
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Blockbuster to keep 1,500 stores open
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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