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Safeway Objects to New Blockbuster Store Closures

3 Jan, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Safeway has filed a motion objecting to a new round of planned Blockbuster store closures, claiming they will negatively affect its adjoining businesses.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based supermarket chain with more than 1,700 stores is the landlord to numerous Blockbuster locations in multiple-tenant shopping centers it operates in California and Oregon.

Dallas-based Blockbuster, which filed for Chapter 11 protection Sept. 23, 2010, late last month said it would be shuttering an additional 186 stores nationwide in addition to locations previously mentioned.

In a Dec. 31 motion filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, Safeway said Blockbuster’s “going out of business” sales would unfairly affect its business and associated interests unless strictly curtailed in their scope.

“[Blockbuster] could literally transfer a majority of the goods to be liquidated from other stores to the affected … locations, thus disrupting the use of loading docks and non-public access to the affected premises and misleading the public as to the true nature of the liquidation,” Safeway said in the complaint.

Safeway said the open-ended discount sales would disrupt adjoining businesses, in addition to indefinite “diminished reputation of its shopping centers.”

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Jan. 11.

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