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Trans World Entertainment
Type Public (NASDAQTWMC)
Founded December 1972
Headquarters Albany, New York
Industry Retail
Products CD, Blu-ray, and DVD stores
Website http://www.twec.com

Trans World Entertainment Corporation is a chain of entertainment media retail stores in the United States. It currently operates over 700 freestanding and shopping mall-based stores under several brand names.

Based out of Albany, New York, Trans World was founded in 1972 by Robert Higgins. It opened its first store, called Record Town (formerly Record Land), in 1973. The company went public in July 1986 and has expanded through acquisitions of a number of smaller or failing companies including Strawberries, Camelot Music, and Wherehouse Entertainment.

In February 2006, Trans World acquired the Musicland Group, which owned Sam Goody, Suncoast Motion Picture Company, and former online store Media Play.

In September 2006, Trans World made bid for the bankrupt Tower Records[1] but lost to Great American Group, a liquidator which closed the chain.

On January 7, 2009 Trans World announced same-store sales decreased 14 percent for the nine-week period that ended January 3, 2009 and total sales dropped 24 percent in the period. Some of the overall decline came as a result of closing 35 stores earlier in the year. Trans World was also in the process of closing another 69 stores during the holidays said Chief Financial Officer John J. Sullivan, "We would expect more closures to be announced soon." Trans World's holiday sales projections already were glum, but with the actual results now in, company officials are projecting losses for fiscal 2008 in the range of $20 million to $25 million.

Contents

f.y.e.

In 2001, Trans World unified its mall-based stores under the brand name f.y.e. or for your entertainment, after buying out the mall-based Camelot stores. During 2001, a major re-branding campaign made f.y.e. the brand name for the entire group of mall-based and many freestanding retail stores owned by Trans World Entertainment. However, some freestanding or strip center stores continued to operate under their regional brands such as Planet Music.

Trans World stores deal primarily in CDs, Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, video games, books, and other entertainment products. They also buy, sell, and trade used CDs, Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and video games.

Beginning in 2006, Trans World began transitioning buildings that were once home to Media Play outlets near Salt Lake City, Utah and Buffalo, New York into f.y.e. superstores, as well as all former Coconuts stores, such as the location in downtown Chicago, Illinois, since the early part of 2007. The largest superstore is in Hamburg, New York (in the Suburbs of Buffalo) which is FYE #1975. The Clarence New York store is of a similar size. Both stores are close to 60,000 sq feet and are the two largest brick and mortar stores in the country operating using this format.

The Buffalo New York Superstores are located in former locations of Busy Beaver, a home improvement chain that still has stores in Ohio and Pennsylvania, which had left the region in the early 1990s, its stores then replaced by Media Play. Following Media Play's liquidation the stores returned as f.y.e. Superstores several months later with a somewhat different interior cosmetic layout. Much like the former Media Play stores these stores offer a selection of Music, Movies and Books. The used sections are much larger than what Media Play was offering at the time of their demise, whereas the book sections are smaller. Selections of CDs are similar but with much greater catalog depth of DVDs and Blu-ray movies. Aside from offering a larger selection of products these stores run their promotional ads independent of the local mall stores. As of February 2010, both of these superstores have liquidated and closed due to corporate cutback purposes.

In addition, the landmark downtown Boston Strawberries located at 411 Washington St, is now an f.y.e.

F.Y.E. offers a discount card, known as the Backstage Pass. This discount card gives members an additional 10% discount on just about every item in the store, excluding game systems, iPods, gift cards, gift coins, iTunes and phone cards. The platinum program is a $25.00 annual fee, however they do offer the VIP program where for a monthly $11.99 fee, you not only get the FYE discount, but a discount for restaurants, other stores, and other establishments also apply.

Chains

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Defunct

  • Camelot Music
  • CD World and Streetside Records: New Jersey and Missouri
  • Coconuts: Chicago area, New Jersey, New York, and Mid-Atlantic States (some stores still operate as Coconuts)
  • Harmony House: Michigan
  • Media Play: Nationwide
  • On Cue: Nationwide (Since 2001 All On Cue are now Sam Goody)
  • Record Land: Nationwide (mall-based)
  • Record Town: Nationwide (mall-based)
  • Sam Goody: Nationwide (mostly freestanding; most mall-based stores have been re-branded as f.y.e. stores)
  • Spec's Music Inc.: Florida
  • Strawberries: Texas, Maryland and New England states
  • Tape World: Nationwide (mall-based)
  • The Wall: Mid-Atlantic States
  • Wall To Wall Sound & Video / Listening Booth: Mid-Atlantic States, later converted to The Wall

References

External links


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