FINANCE

Report: Blockbuster to file Chapter 11 in September

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Blockbuster is preparing to file for bankruptcy next month, The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.

The chain is hoping to use its time in Chapter 11 to restructure a crippling debt load of nearly $1 billion and escape leases on 500 or more of its 3,425 U.S. stores, the report said.

Blockbuster, which has lost a total of $1.1 billion since the beginning of 2008, has been severely hamstrung in efforts to grow its business due to interest payments on $920 million in debt. Earlier this month, the company announced that most of its debt holders had agreed to a forbearance on interest payments until Sept. 30, during which time it would attempt a recapitalization.

According to the report, executives from Blockbuster and its senior debt holders last week held meetings with the six major movie studios to discuss their intention to enter a “pre-planned” bankruptcy in mid-September. It is critical that Blockbuster retains the support of Hollywood’s film studios during the process so that it can continue to offer customers an uninterrupted supply of the latest DVDs.

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Best Buy launches video-game trade-in service

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Best Buy announced that it has launched a video-game trade-in service in nearly 600 stores.

“The expansion of our trade-in program reaffirms our commitment to consistently pursue new ways to bring a better gaming experience to consumers,” said Chris Homeister, SVP and general manager for the home entertainment group at Best Buy. “Fall marks the launch of several highly-anticipated gaming titles and new technology, and we’re thrilled to provide gamers with innovative ways to connect with the games they love.”

Consumers can now bring their previously played video games into Best Buy and trade them for an instant Best Buy gift card to use for purchasing anything in the store, including any game or gaming accessory. Soon, they will be able to purchase a pre-owned game as well, the company reported.

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Target launches customizable ad server

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target has announced the launch of “My TargetWeekly,”a new customizable version of its popular online weekly ad. With My TargetWeekly, guests can create customized views and deal alerts to learn when their favorite items are on sale, the company reported. They also can view coupons, see top 10 deals, share via Facebook and Twitter and create their own customized mobile shopping lists for their next visit in-store or online.

“We are excited to provide our guests with yet another innovation to simplify their lives and improve their shopping experience,” said Steve Eastman, president of Target.com. “As the only retailer offering this technology, we are proud to give our guests more ways to make the most of their dollar, which helps us deliver on our ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’ brand promise.”

 

My TargetWeekly can also be found on the Target Facebook fan page and guests can share products and shopping experiences with friends to create smart recommendations. The more guests “love” a product, the smarter the recommendation engine becomes, the company said.

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