ALBANY, N.Y., March 19 /PRNewswire/ — Before a crowd of 250 entertainment
industry leaders that featured a special performance by Tony Bennett, Trans
World Entertainment Corporation (Nasdaq: TWMC) unveiled today its strategic
plan to re-brand the Company’s 730 mall-based specialty stores and its web
site under a single, unified brand, fye (for your entertainment). The re-
branding enables Trans World to leverage its strength as the nation’s largest
music specialty retailer and differentiate fye from the competition.
For the first time, customers nationwide will enjoy a consistent shopping
experience in every store, in every market and in every channel. This
enhanced brand experience, which will include industry-leading product
sampling and selection tools, is designed to cultivate customer loyalty, drive
sales and build market share for the Company.
Over the last several years, Trans World has grown aggressively through
acquisition, and currently operates stores in two formats — mall-based stores
and freestanding stores, under a variety of trade names including Record Town,
Camelot, The Wall, Disc Jockey and For Your Entertainment. It also operates
an e-commerce site, TWEC.com. The Company’s freestanding store formats,
including Coconuts, Strawberries and Specs, will continue to operate under
their existing brand identities to maximize their regional strength.
The re-branding initiative is the result of an 18-month in-depth analysis
of the changing entertainment marketplace, the technology revolution and the
emerging wired lifestyle as well as extensive customer research. It is
designed to drive sales and build brand equity by increasing the number and
consistency of customer touchpoints and increasing efficiency in advertising
and marketing functions. fye will create a more relevant shopping experience
for consumers, expanding product selection across the entertainment spectrum.
The brand positioning also enables Trans World to broaden its customer base
and fully realize the benefits of a multi-market, multi-channel strategy.
“Our objective is to leverage our expertise in music and entertainment to
build long-lasting relationships with our customers. We want to provide a
personalized, inspirational experience that meets their lifestyle needs in
stores, through the Internet or on the go with wireless devices,” said Trans
World Chairman and CEO Robert Higgins. “As we spent time over the last year
and a half speaking to our customers and conducting market research, one of
our existing brand names continually rose to the top — fye. It communicates
who we are today and our vision for the future, which involves a more
individualized customer approach in a multi-channel, total entertainment
environment that draws on the latest technologies.”
The re-branding effort will begin at once and will be rolled out
nationally to all stores by the end of the year. The Company’s e-commerce site
will be re-launched as fye.com in August for an unparalleled bricks and clicks
Management anticipates the investment in the branding initiative including
capital and operating expenditures to be approximately $40 million in 2001.
Operating expenses will increase $19 million including depreciation. The
additional operating expenses will reduce 2001 earnings per share by $0.26.
The new brand is expected to begin positively impacting net earnings in 2002.
eWorks: Capitalizing on Technology’s Role in Entertainment
The Company’s re-branding program will be supported by the latest
technological advances to create a distinct customer experience and improve
the quality of information and efficiency of data sharing across channels.
The eWorks initiative will position the Company as the industry leader in the
areas of customization and personalization of entertainment, including
emerging wireless applications and digital downloading. For example, fye will
offer comprehensive product sampling that will provide customers with the
ability to digitally preview any item in inventory. This industry-leading
product sampling will enable the Company to convert browsers to buyers,
increase average transaction size and improve customer closure rate.
“eWorks will establish a new standard in retail entertainment by creating
a dynamic and exciting customer experience across all distribution channels.
It provides the necessary framework to continuously evolve and take advantage
of future technology advancements as well as further our position as the
market leader in the years to come,” Higgins concluded.
The eWorks initiative will be piloted in four markets starting in the Fall
of this year, with a phased roll-out planned beginning in 2002.
Trans World Entertainment is a leading specialty retailer of music and
video products. The Company operates retail stores in 46 states, the District
of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and an e-commerce site,
http://www.twec.com. Mall locations include Camelot, Record Town, The Wall,
F.Y.E, Disc Jockey and Saturday Matinee. Freestanding locations include
Coconuts Music and Movies, Strawberries Music, Specs and Planet Music.
Certain statements in this press release set forth management’s
intentions, plans, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future based on
current facts and analyses. Actual results may differ materially from those
indicated in such statements. Additional information on factors that may
affect the business and financial results of the Company can be found in
filings of the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE Trans World Entertainment
/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media materials and a high-resolution scan of the new
logo are available at http://www.mwwclients2.com/fye/
CONTACT: Media – Matt Messinger, 201-964-2377, or Investors – Michael
Lendener, 212-827-3757, both of The MWW Group, for Trans World Entertainment/