Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 29, 2013 12:21 PM
HMV, the once-global chain of British music stores, has had a rough couple of years. The company went into the British equivalent of bankruptcy earlier this year, but now with a new owner, Hilco, and 142 stores in the UK offering up everything from music, games, films and TV, the brand is looking to make a comeback. And like the rest of the world, HMV is putting its hope for revival and survival onto the web—the platform that ate its lunch by enabling digital music downloads to bypass retailers.
This week, HMV debuted a revamped website that tries to bring back the “authority” of the experience consumers had in its stores, Britain's Marketing Magazine reports. The site features curated and original content that hopes to inspire consumers to discover “both old and new products.” Trying to woo digital-savvy millennials and music-lovers, the “site will also become personalized, based on users’ interests and past purchases.”
In order to bolster the community aspect of the site, employees from the brick-and-mortar locations will also be posting information based on what’s happening locally. But is it too little, too late?Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 4, 2013 04:55 PM
After filing for bankruptcy in November of last year, Kodak has re-emerged as a much smaller, business-to-business focused company that will provide commerical printing and digital imaging services. While a far cry from its years in consumer products, CEO Antonio Perez urges that the company is "working at the same intersection of materials science, digital imaging and precision technologies that it had been for decades prior to the bankruptcy."
After increasing competition from overseas companies and emerging digital technology essentially killed Kodak's business, the company sold off what it could, including its signature camera film division to its UK retirees who had a $2.8 billion debt owed on their pension plan. It sold its roughly half-billion dollar patent portfolio in return for $844 million in financing and reduced billions of dollars of debt by issuing stock at a severely reduced rate to creditors.Continue reading...
Posted by Adeline Chong on August 14, 2013 04:49 PM
Just like the beloved snack cake Twinkies was rescued from the depths of its owner's bankruptcy, Borders, a longtime staple among US retail bookstores, is getting a new chance at life thanks to a few global bookstore lovers that snatched up trademarks and intellectual property rights at auction after the brand went bust in 2011.
When it was announced recently that Borders would resurface in Singapore before the year's end, book lovers and sellers alike greeted the news with cautious optimism. After all, Borders Singapore—which had operated under the independent Borders Asia Pacific—quickly became one of Singapore's most iconic and loved bookstores when it opened in 1997—even emerging as the group's best performing outlet in 2006—but it quickly met its demise in September 2011 after its owner, Australia's Redgroup Retail, fell to a similar fate as its US counterpart.
In Singapore, the store's demise then seemed inevitable, bankruptcy or not, as loyal customers became disgruntled at the deep discounts offered to non-members and customers at large were baffled by the store's poor book selection and foray into non-book items like toys and cookware. The frequent sales also created a discount mentality amongst customers, eating into margins. Globally, the group's late foray into e-books and its big push into sunset product categories such as music CDs were also cited for its demise.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 19, 2013 01:09 PM
The City of Detroit, its leaders and workers and residents in tow, opened a door to their future as emergency manager Kevyn Orr filed for bankruptcy on behalf of the Motor City on Thursday.
Michigan's largest city became the biggest US municipality to file for bankruptcy after decades of population loss, endemic infrastructure decline, inept management, struggles with its suburbs, national image problems and other woes that left Detroit too poor to pay its billions of dollars in debts to bondholders, retired cops, current city workers and other creditors.
Despite more recent investments by national retailers and a hopeful "comeback" campaign—not to mention Chrysler's "Imported From Detroit" civic pride-filled campaign—the city's fate was written in stone.
The filing "is an emotional and cultural nadir that is tear-inducing and gut-wrenching," wrote Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press, in a typical sentiment. "Bankruptcy is the bottom of a tremendous, Roman-empire-like slide for one of the world's most significant locales."Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on July 8, 2013 12:43 PM
It presses the bounds of credulity to think that being frozen would really make much difference to the shelf life of what's been known to be a practically indestructible product. But the decision by the new manufacturers of Hostess Twinkies to freeze some deliveries of the tasty little loaves is causing some longtime fans some untoward distress.
The new owners, Metropoulos & Co and Apollo Management Group, confirmed that they plan to freeze Twinkies being delivered to some retailers as the brand hits US shelves again this month after a near eight-month absence due to the liquidation of Hostess.
A spokeswoman for Metropoulos & Co.—which swooped in to buy the orphaned brand, along with other Hostess baked goods, earlier this year—told The Huffington Post that the decision was made after a small percentage of the company's retail customers explicitly requested frozen versions of the treat.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Brandchannel Staff on March 19, 2013 11:44 AM
After filing for bankruptcy protection in November and laying off its workers, Hostess has finally found buyers to pony up about $800 million for the majority of its baked goods brands.
According to Associated Press, a bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of Hostess Brands' iconic Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Hos to two investment firms, Apollo Global Management and Pabst owner Metropoulos & Co., for $410 million. The judge also approved the sale of Hostess-owned Wonder Bread, Nature's Pride, Butternut, Home Pride and Merita bread brands to Tastykakes owner Flowers Foods, for $360M.
Beefsteak, a Hostess-owned regional bread brand, also was approved for a $31.9 million sale to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo, which surfaced early in the Hostess bankruptcy auction as a potential buyer and acquired Sara Lee's North American bakery business in 2010.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 11:08 AM
Just a couple of days after seeing its former mayor trundled off to jail in a conspiracy conviction, Detroit is considering whether to rally behind a new emergency manager appointed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.
Kevyn Orr became Detroit's emergency financial manager this week, sharing a dais on Thursday not only with Snyder but, significantly, with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, who has graciously partnered with Snyder and other state officials in the top-down takeover of a Motor City that Bing had hoped to turn around.
Orr is a 54-year-old, "high-powered Washington, D.C., lawyer," according to the Detroit Free Press, and University of Michigan graduate who worked on Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy restructuring in his role at the Jones Day legal firm—a background that helped him land the job, and will give him what he'll need to tackle the unparalleled woes of Detroit. His new role will also him a $275,000 fee for spending the next 18 months trying to solve the financial puzzle that is Detroit.
"This is the Olympics of restructuring," said Orr to the Detroit Free Press. "Bankruptcy's been my stock in trade for the past several decades."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 13, 2013 03:07 PM
Reader’s Digest’s two trips to bankruptcy court in under four years seem to be paying off.
The magazine’s parent, RDA Holding, filed for Chapter 11 last month, (the first round was in 2009) hoping to convert nearly $465 million of debt into equity held by creditors as the 91-year-old publisher struggles to survive.
"After considering a wide range of alternatives, we believe this course of action will most effectively enable us to maintain our momentum in transforming the business and allow us to capitalize on the growing strength and presence of our outstanding brands and products," said CEO Robert E. Guth.Continue reading...