Trans World Entertainment Narrows Q2 Loss Following F.Y.E. Sale

Trans World Entertainment July 31 disclosed it lost $5.4 million in the second quarter (ended May 2) on revenue of $31.5 million. That compared with a loss of $7.8 million and revenue of $35.1 million during the previous-year period.

Notable for the narrowed loss: The Feb. 20 sale of home entertainment retail chain f.y.e. for $10 million to Canadian-based Sunrise Records, which owns music retailer chain HMV in Canada and London. Trans World Entertainment now focuses on eTailz.com, an e-commerce intermediary based in Spokane, Wash.

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Trans World Entertainment said owning f.y.e. resulted in negative cash flows from operations during fiscal 2019 and 2018, and it expects to incur additional net losses in 2020. The company remains uncertain about the fiscal impact of the coronavirus pandemic on eTailz, which conducts much of its business on Amazon.

April 17 etailz received loan proceeds of $2 million as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). The PPP Loan matures April 17, 2022, bearing interest at a fixed rate of 1% per annum, and is payable in monthly installments of $112,975.55 commencing Nov. 10.

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“Given the daily evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak and the response to curb its spread, currently we are not able to estimate the effects of the virus outbreak to our results of operations, financial condition, or liquidity,” the company said in a statement.

Amazon Suspends Non-Essential Third-Party Shipments

Want that new-release DVD or Blu-ray Disc from Amazon? If it’s coming from a third-party vendor, you might wait awhile. The e-commerce behemoth March 17 announced it would limit shipments of all non-essential products to its warehouses across the country.

Amazon is now limiting shipments to medical supplies, household staples (i.e. toilet paper) and other high-priority items until April 5, according to an internal memo to third-party sellers.

“We are temporarily prioritizing [these] products coming into our fulfillment centers so we can more quickly receive, restock and deliver these products to customers,” read the memo reported by Business Insider.

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Priority items include health and household items, beauty and personal care, grocery, industrial and scientific. DVD and Blu-ray Disc movies were not on the list.

“We are seeing increased online shopping, and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock,” read the memo.

Steve Yates with Prime Alliance, which assists Amazon sellers, said the drastic move is in response to coronavirus, which continues to spread rapidly with more than 2,000 cases reported in the United States.

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Yates told the publication that third-party sellers he’s talked to have seen their revenue plummet 40% to 60% on Amazon due to revised shipping guidelines.

“It may be difficult for some sellers to ship every item themselves, but if they want to have their products for sale on Amazon, they have no choice until April 5,” said Will Tjernlund with Goat Consulting in Minneapolis, Minn.

The shipment change could wreak havoc for eTailz.com, the Trans World Entertainment Corp. subsidiary specializing in third-party sellers on Amazon.

TWEC recently offloaded its f.y.e. (For Your Entertainment) home entertainment retail chain to focus on eTailz — the latter posting a 35% drop in revenue in its most-recent fiscal period. And that was before the virus pandemic. The net loss was $1.3 million.

 

Trans World Entertainment’s Bruce Eisenberg Departs After 27 Years

Trans World Entertainment March 2 announced the departure of Bruce Eisenberg, EVP of real estate, effective immediately.

Eisenberg, who had been with the corporate parent of the f.y.e. (For Your Entertainment) home entertainment retail chain for nearly 27 years, saw his position eliminated following the $10 million sale of f.y.e. to the parent of Sunrise Records in Canada and HMV Records in the United Kingdom.

Per a regulatory filing, Eisenberg is set to receive more than $300,000 in so-called “golden parachute” compensation. His annual compensation had been $425,000. CEO Mike Feurer is on tap to receive more than $1 million in compensation should his position be eliminated.

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The 200 mall-based f.y.e. locations across the country reported an operating loss of $21.5 million, with revenue down 14.7% to $40.8 million in the most-recent fiscal period. Comparable store sales declined 5.2% — the drop largely buttressed by gains in collectables revenue.

Trans World Entertainment had warned in regulatory filings that its continued operation as a company was in doubt without deleveraging some of assets.

The company is now focused on its Etailz.com e-commerce subsidiary, based in Spokane, Wash., which has been losing money. TWEC recently took out a $25 million loan to shore up the subsidiary’s finances.

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Trans World Entertainment: ‘Substantial Doubt’ Sustaining Operations for Another Year

Trans World Entertainment, parent to mall-based home entertainment retailer f.y.e. (For Your Entertainment), Dec. 18 disclosed it would delay the release of its third-quarter 10-Q regulatory filing to Dec. 23.

The company, which did not submit the filing with its Dec. 17 fiscal release, said it needed additional time to compile required financial data to its accountant (KPMG).

Specifically, TWEC said its primary sources of liquidity include borrowing under its revolving credit facility, tapping available cash and cash equivalents, and cash generated from operations.

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Yet f.y.e. reported an operating loss of $21.5 million, with revenue down 14.7% to $40.8 million. Comparable store sales declined 5.2% — the decline largely buttressed by gains in collectables revenue. And eTailz.com, the ecommerce middleman acquired in 2016 for $75 million, lost $1.4 million.

TWEC, in the filing, said the results “raises substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern for 12-month period following the Q3 fiscal period.

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The operator of more than 200 f.y.e. stores, said it hopes to improve profitability, implement a performance improvement plan for eTailz and secure additional funding, among other strategic alternatives.

FYE Partners With Funimation on Exclusive ‘My Hero Academia’ Products

Trans World Entertainment’s FYE retail chain has collaborated with anime giant Funimation on a collection of “My Hero Academia”-themed products, available now exclusively at FYE stores and www.FYE.com for a limited time.

FYE and Funimation partnered with Japan Crate to create an exclusive triple-collaboration “My Hero Academia Crate.” The crates feature an assortment of “My Hero Academia”-themed sweets and snacks from Japan. All crates include a free trial subscription to the FunimationNow anime streaming service.

Also part of the collaboration are “Plus Ultra Cereal,” packed with Ultra Berry Blast cereal, and “Bakugo’s Explosion Chocolate Bar,” with popping candy inside.

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The new season of “My Hero Academia” is streaming now on FunimationNow and Hulu.

FYE Chain Mounts Pop-Up Shop for San Diego Comic-Con

The FYE, For Your Entertainment, chain has mounted a pop-up shop in San Diego for the July 18-21 Comic-Con convention.

The shop, running through the end of Comic-Con, is in Horton Plaza at 4th Ave and F St, near the convention center. It features an assortment of limited edition exclusive products and shared convention exclusives, including collaborations with Funko, Adult Swim, NEFF, Nickelodeon, Garbage Pail Kids, NBC Universal, Aggretsuko and others

Convention exclusives include:

  • Child’s Play Cereal
  • SpongeBob Con tee
  • Aggretsuko Con tee and tote
  • The Creme Shop Aggretsuko beauty products
  • King Kill Kat Death Pepper from Andrew Bell
  • Rick & Morty Con Tee
  • Skate decks by Finesse featuring Quiccs, Andrew Bell, Sonic
  • Shared San Diego Comic Con exclusives

 

Other FYE exclusives include:

  • Exclusive Funko Pops
  • Quiccs Teq63 Icy Grape – very limited
  • Exclusive Stabby by Greg “Craola” Simkins
  • Ron English’s Popaganda – Monochrome Cereal Killers
  • SpongeBob x Op Exclusive Apparel
  • Garbage Pail Kids line of consumable products & tee
  • Yu-Gi-Oh consumables and tee
  • Bob Ross consumables and tees
  • Ghostbusters consumables
  • Dragon Ball Z Complete Series
  • Exclusive Vinyl, steelbooks, box sets
  • Stranger Things Cassette
  • Game of Thrones Vinyl

 

The FYE pop-up also will host fan experiences and signings throughout the convention, including:

  • Nickelodeon characters photo op
  • Tyler Bates signing, composer of John Wick and Guardians of the Galaxy
  • “Aggretsuko” meet and greet and life-size Funko box photo op
  • David Kirschner and Don Mancini, Child’s Play creators, signing
  • Ron English signing
  • Joe Simko, Garbage Pail Kids Artist, signing
  • Hi-Chew taste test sampling
  • Yu-Gi-Oh Speed Dueling in-store demo
  • “Game of Thrones” replica weapons display
  • SalesOne Pop-Up with an exclusive “SpongeBob” 20th anniversary pin

FYE Offering Garbage Pail Kids Licensed Merchandise, Cereal and Candy

FYE is offering an exclusive line of branded cereal, chocolate bars, energy drinks, licensed apparel and collectibles from Topps’ Garbage Pail Kids franchise at FYE stores and fye.com, according to a release from the retailer.

“As long-time Garbage Pail Kids fans, we are excited to be bringing this pop-culture classic to our customers in new and innovative ways,” said Jodie Evans, FYE’s SVP of entertainment merchandising and marketing in a statement.

FYE stores will be adorned with custom window signage by Garbage Pail Kids artist Joe Simko, according to the release. “To further the interactive experience, we’ll be hosting Joe at a variety of live events to autograph cereal boxes, provide GPK sketches and engage with fans,” Evans said.

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“GPK’s irreverent brand essence combined with our ability to blend food with art has created products that truly brings fun and entertainment back to retail,” said Tim Lopes, FYE’s DMM of consumables, in a statement.

The exclusive GPK Cereal, featuring custom art by Simko, contains two Topps GPK trading cards in a box (four cards to collect in all).

The iconic Adam Bomb character is featured throughout the line, including with a Cherry Bomb energy drink and popping candy-infused cherry-flavored chocolate bar. Leaky Lindsay also has her own chocolate bar with a slimy green gooey center.

“When Topps first published the Garbage Pail Kids cards and stickers in the 80’s and 90’s, it spawned a worldwide collecting phenomenon,” said Ira Friedman, Topps VP of global licensing, in a statement. “Today, many of those young fans are nostalgically reliving childhood memories and re-connecting with the brand. They are our biggest supporters and they’re enthusiastically helping us usher in a new generation of GPK enthusiasts.”

FYE Chain Bows Exclusive Collector’s Edition of ‘Night of the Living Dead’ for Film’s 50th

Trans World Entertainment-owned retail chain FYE, for your entertainment, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead with an exclusive collector’s edition.

The set features the “Criterion Collection” two-disc Blu-ray featuring the original premiere version of the film, restored and remastered in 4K Ultra HD from the original camera negative and supervised by Romero with the support of the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Foundation. It includes new and archival footage, interviews, and commentary from the original cast and creators.

The collection also features a limited edition, 250-page graphic novel based on the film with covers by Stephen R. Bissette, art by Richard Bonk, and exclusive photos and interviews with the original 1968 cast and filmmakers.

Also included are the original eight 1968 lobby cards from the release of the film, remastered with gold foil lettering, specially re-designed to celebrate the anniversary. Also, the chain has randomly inserted 250 of the boxes with an additional lobby card autographed by Johnny of “They’re coming to get you, Barbra” fame, played by actor Russell Streiner.

There is also an exclusive poster of the character Karen Cooper, played by Kyra Schon, and a special edition commemorative ticket specially designed with gold foil to commemorate the 50th Anniversary.

Collectors can pick up a copy on FYE.com or at any FYE location.

The newly restored and remastered version of Night of the Living Dead is returning to movie theaters nationwide Oct. 24-25 presented by Fathom Events, Image Ten and Living Dead Media, in association with Janus Films and the “Criterion Collection.”

FandangoNow’s Cameron Douglas Elected EMA Chairman

Cameron Douglas, VP of home entertainment for Fandango’s on-demand video streaming service, FandangoNow, has been elected chairman of the Entertainment Merchants Association.

Douglas replaces Jonathan Zepp, head of worldwide movies and TV partnerships for Google Play.

Other officers include vice chair Suyin Lim, senior director, global content acquisition, Sony Interactive Entertainment; secretary Michele Edelman, EVP, marketing and content strategy, Vubiquity; and treasurer Matt Hill, head of vendor management, Amazon Prime Video.

EMA past chairmen Bob Geistman, EVP, sales and marketing for Ingram Entertainment, and Marty Graham, SVP, comScore, as well as Bill Kotzman, partner product manager, TV/film, Google/YouTube, will also serve on the association’s executive committee as at-large members.

Other members of the board are Amit Balan, head of marketing, Vudu; Lori Flynn, VP, content, Redbox Automated Retail; Ryan Gorman, director, merchandise buying, video games, Target; Pedro E. Gutierrez Jr., director, digital stores movies and TV business and category management, Microsoft; Steve Harkins, VP and GM, Baker & Taylor; Bill Miller, VP and divisional merchandise manager, DVD, Blu-ray, and Games, Trans World Entertainment; Jason Peterson, CEO, ContentBridge Systems; and Mark Vrieling, CEO, ScreenPlay Entertainment.

“In the ever-changing world of home entertainment retailing, we need an organized industry association more than ever,” said Douglas in a statement. “EMA collectively advocates for anyone involved in the consumer delivery of content, promotes and encourages adoption of standards, and establishes trade- and consumer-focused best practices. I am proud to devote my time to an organization so important to our industry.”

“The companies on EMA’s Board of Directors represent the spectrum of the home entertainment industry, including video and video games, physical and digital, and sellthrough, rental, and streaming,” said Mark Fisher, EMA president and CEO, in a statement. “These directors personify the diversity of products and business models in our industry and will help ensure that the industry’s trade association meets the needs of all market segments in our incredibly diverse industry.”

The Entertainment Merchants Association Hosts Seventh Annual LAES

The seventh annual Los Angeles Entertainment Summit, presented by the Entertainment Merchants Association, took place July 17-18 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. The event included panels, speakers, awards, an OTT Channels Conference and a cocktail party sponsored by FandangoNow, which included a silent auction to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.