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Two ex-Media Play outlets in area to be reopened by Syracuse firm

Two just-shuttered Media Play stores in the Buffalo area will come back to life as Trans World Entertainment outlets this spring.

The Syracuse-based music chain, which operates FYE (For Your Entertainment) stores in the Walden Galleria and Boulevard Mall, plans to set up shop in the former Media Play stores at 6743 Transit Road, in Clarence, and S-3701 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg.

"These were two good locations and will get us into new areas in the Buffalo market," said John Sullivan, Trans World's executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Trans World, which operates some 800 stores around the U.S., was the successful bidder for six Media Play leases in a recent federal bankruptcy court auction. In addition to the two local stores, the central New York company also snared four former Media Play sites in Salt Lake City.

Sullivan said no final decision has been made regarding which of its formats it will bring to the new stores. In addition to FYE, the company also operatesmusic/entertainment outlets under the Coconuts and Planet Music banners.

Like Media Play, Trans World stores offer a wide variety of audio and video items. The stores do not sell books.

The Media Play stores, which are more than 40,000 square feet in size, are significantly larger than a typical Trans World store, which averages 6,000 square feet. However, the company does operate a 45,000-square-foot FYE store in suburban Rochester.

Trans World is expected to acquire additional Media Play sites next month when more of the leases are put on the auction block. The financially-troubled Musicland Holding Co., the parent firm of Media Play, is seeking bankruptcy court approval to sell off 340 of its retail leases, including its Sam Goody and Suncoast Motion Picture stores.

Musicland, which filed for Chapter 11 protection, shutdown its entire, 81-store Media Play chain at the end of January. In addition to the Clarence and Hamburg stores, Media Play had also operated stores in Cheektowaga, Amherst and Niagara Falls.

The Minnesota-based retail company expects to emerge from bankruptcy with approximately 400 stores.


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