Report: Blockbuster to close another 186 stores
Dallas — A Wall Street Journal report on Monday said that, according to court filings, Blockbuster will start closing 186 more stores by the end of the month, bringing the number of its U.S. locations closed or slated for closure to 1,145, or more than a third of its total, since the video-rental chain filed for bankruptcy protection in September.
In filings Friday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, Blockbuster said it will reject the leases on 186 of its stores by March 31.
Among the markets that will be most affected are California and Texas, which each face double-digit store closings.
In February, the bankruptcy court approved procedures for the auction of Blockbuster, with an initial $290 million stalking-horse offer from a group of senior bondholders led by New York-based hedge fund Monarch Alternative Capital. The ruling staved off the threat of immediate liquidation of Blockbuster’s assets.
Blockbuster will use proceeds from the sale, whether it is to the Monarch group or a higher bidder, to pay its debt to movie studios. The studios have agreed to continue shipping DVDs to Blockbuster stores.
American Express launches digital payments service
New York City — American Express Co. announced on Monday that it has introduced a new digital payment service it calls Serve, enabling customers to choose among multiple options to make payments linked to a single account.
The account can be funded from a bank account or a debit, credit or charge card. Payments can be made online, via mobile phones or at stores that accept American Express cards.
The service also enables person-to-person transactions with other people who have Serve accounts, enabling American Express to compete in some ways with PayPal, the digital payment service owned by Internet auction site eBay.
American Express said Serve is aimed at consumers who currently rely on cash, checks and debit cards.
Costco head named one of the top CEOs by Barron’s
NEW YORK — Costco Wholesale CEO Jim Sinegal has made the Barron’s magazine list of the top 30 CEOs.
Sinegal earned the 22nd spot on the list. The magazine pointed out his busy travel schedule, which takes him to most of Costco’s 582 stores every year, as well as a recent trip to Asia from which he arrived in Issaquah, Wash., at 8 a.m., showered and was in the office at 9 a.m.
The article can be accessed here.
Also on the list, at No. 28, was Abbott Labs CEO Miles White.