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January 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Reminiscent of the efforts of shopowners who attempted to prevent the closure of outdated movie theaters that anchored shopping malls a generation ago, a supermarket chain is attempting to halt Blockbuster’s plans to shut down many of its stores in strip malls in California and Oregon. As reported by Home Media magazine, the Safeway chain has filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of New York claiming that Blockbuster’s plans to shut down additional stores under its reorganization plan could diminish the reputation of the shopping centers and harm adjoining businesses. Safeway has a particular interest in forestalling the closures since it is the landlord in many of the affected areas and Blockbuster is seeking to cancel its leases there. Moreover, in its filing it foresaw the possibility of disruptions even in shopping centers where Blockbuster intends to keep its stores open. It envisioned Blockbuster transferring goods from the stores it is closing down and using the remaining ones to hold going-out-of-business sales, thereby “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.” Moreover, the Dallas Observer reported on Monday that some school districts and government agencies that have filed tax liens against many of the stores are objecting to Blockbuster’s reorganization plans, insisting that those liens take priority over creditors’ claims. Dallas County’s alone amount to at least $545,701.36, the newspaper said.