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by Gazette staff

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Trans World reverses course

F.Y.E. parent company Trans World Entertainment Corp has said it will open 20 new stores this fiscal year, a reversal of course for the Albany-based company that was forced to close hundreds of stores in the last seven years due to declining CD sales.

None of the new stores will be local. F.Y.E. stores typically crop up in malls, and Capital Region malls are already saturated.

"It's unlikely that any of them will be local because we're already in Crossgates, Rotterdam and Wilton malls, as well as Colonie Center," said Trans World Chief Financial Officer John Anderson.

Trans World operates 376 F.Y.E. locations across the nation. In recent years, it has shifted its business model from a retailer that's all about CDs to a retailer that specializes in movies, music, trend items, electronics and video games. The shift paid off, bringing in new revenue for the struggling company and allowing it to turn a profit.

"In the last two years we've gotten back to profitability and we have a very strong balance sheet and we see an opportunity to start expanding again," said Anderson. "So these new stores will be kind of similar to the stores that have grown profitable for us with that broad mix of offerings."

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