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TMCNet:  Dish Network plans to keep 600 Blockbuster stores open

[April 18, 2011]

Dish Network plans to keep 600 Blockbuster stores open

Apr 18, 2011 (The Dallas Morning News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Blockbuster's new owner, Dish Network, really does plan to keep the movie rental chain in business.

About 600 Blockbuster stores make up a list of leases that the No. 2 satellite television provider said it will assume in a Saturday filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. But that also means that another 1,000 Blockbuster stores may be closing soon.
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Before Dallas-based Blockbuster was sold earlier this month, it had trimmed its U.S. store count to 1,726 stores.

Dish's list of stores it plans to keep open doesn't include most Blockbuster locations inside Dallas. In Texas, about 65 stores made the latest cut, including 16 in Dallas-Fort Worth. Among them are only two Dallas stores, on McKinney Avenue in Uptown and at 4535 Frankford Road in Far North Dallas.

So far, Dish hasn't assumed leases for the 850,000 square-foot distribution center in McKinney or the multi-floor corporate headquarters in downtown Dallas' Renaissance Tower.

Dish hasn't yet disclosed its full plans for Blockbuster, but those operations will probably phase down in the coming weeks as the business transitions to Dish's Englewood, Colo., headquarters. It could keep the McKinney distribution center going to supply its stores and DVD-by-mail customers.

Dish Network won Blockbuster in a bankruptcy court auction on April 6 that drew several bidders. At the time, Dish said that it was interested in the stores while some other bidders planned to liquidate the video chain.

Dish Network's $320 million acquisition of Blockbuster is expected to close on Thursday.

Blockbuster lawyer Martin Sosland, a partner in the Dallas office of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, said Sunday that Dish actually has a couple of days more to add to the list of leases and contracts it will assume.

Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September and tried to reorganize, but its senior lenders and management couldn't come up with a plan while its business rapidly deteriorated. It entered bankruptcy with 3,200 stores. In its heyday it had 5,700 U.S. stores and more than 3,300 international locations.

Other local stores that made it on Dish Network's list are in Balch Springs, Burleson, DeSoto, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Garland, Haltom City, Irving, Mansfield, McKinney and Mesquite.

Dish's list of stores it plans to keep open in the Dallas-Fort Worth area includes the following: Balch Springs: 12001 Elam Road Burleson: 668 S.W. Wilshire Blvd.

Dallas: 3501 McKinney Ave., Suite A, and 4535 Frankford Road DeSoto: 204 E. Pleasant Run Road Flower Mound: 2650 Flower Mound Road Fort Worth: 6217 Oakmont Blvd., 9124 Camp Bowie W. Blvd., Suite 500, and 9316 Clifford St.

Garland: 3046 Lavon Drive, # 118 Haltom City: 4609 Denton Highway Irving: 3707 N. Belt Line Road Mansfield: 995 N. Walnut Creek Drive McKinney: 1717 W. University and 6700 W. Virginia Parkway Mesquite: 1200 Davis St.

SOURCE: Dallas Morning News research To see more of The Dallas Morning News, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.dallasnews.com. Copyright (c) 2011, The Dallas Morning News Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com.

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