Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Olsson's bankruptcy press release

They sent this along to their newsletter subscribers today. I spent $55 in the Clarendon one last night! Unfortunately, it's much diminished with a bakery taking 2/3 of the space and the shelves looked a bit picked over too. Not much comics stuff, although they had plenty of copies of Wolk's book.

Olsson Enterprises Inc. T/A Olsson's Books & Records files for Chapter 11 Protection.

Olsson Enterprises Inc., trading as Olsson's Books & Records, Record & Tape Limited and Olsson's Books, announced it has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to reorganize the company and return to profitability. Olsson's filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Maryland.

The reasons given for filing were a combination of the continuing weak retail economy, rising rents and property taxes, competition from large box stores and the Internet, and an accelerated drop in the music CD business.

Olsson's was established in 1972 and grew to as many as nine retail stores in the Washington DC metro area with sales over $16 million a year and as many as 200 employees. Currently there are five retail stores: Reagan National Airport, Alexandria, two in Arlington, and one in Northwest Washington DC. Olsson's earned a reputation as a locally-owned community-oriented retailer with a knowledgeable staff selling a good selection of books, music, video and gifts.

John Olsson, the principal owner, a Washington native and graduate of Catholic University, stated, "Olsson's could not have made it past 35 years without the great work of many employees, the loyalty of wonderful customers and the many friends of Olsson's who saw a value in the business and helped it along the way. Although the company has attempted to manage the situation to remain solvent, regrettably after considering all available alternatives, the company determined Chapter 11 was the best way to maintain operations while implementing a plan for successful restructuring."

Terence McCann, Controller since 1989 and a graduate of the University of Maryland, stated, "There is a plan for Olsson's to continue. It involves raising working capital, seeking investors, reducing overhead costs, adding new merchandise, refurbishing stores, retaining leases where achievable or relocating to communities that will support the concept of an independent bookstore. We still think that Olsson's has something to offer and can do business in this market."

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