SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Tower Records is still out there, on the Internet, under new management that's itching to increase its Web presence.
It makes its headquarters in Wilmington, Del.
Richard Flynn, a Wilmington businessman, said he was hired a month ago as president of Tower.com Inc. The Web site is owned by a European investment group named Cumberland Corporate Services, he said.
Flynn wouldn't disclose Tower.com's sales numbers but said, "We're still doing pretty good, nowhere near where we're going to be in 12 months.
"My ultimate goal would be to get the same vibe Tower had," he added.
Flynn's appointment represents a new twist in the saga of Tower.com, one of the few remaining pieces of the global retail music chain founded in Sacramento, Calif. Also surviving is a chain of Tower-brand music stores in Japan and other overseas markets.
In March 2007, four months after Tower went out of business, the Web site was auctioned for $4.2 million to an e-commerce music merchant called Caiman Holdings, according to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
A three-employee skeleton crew ran the Web site for a while from an office in West Sacramento, not far from Tower's former headquarters. But the employees left and operations moved back East. Caiman's headquarters are in Montreal and Miami.
The story has some murky complications. Flynn said Caiman never owned Tower.com, despite what the court records say. Instead, he said executives from Caiman ran the business for the European firm.
Caiman's chief executive, Didier Pilon, recently told Billboard magazine that ownership of Tower.com changed hands, although he wouldn't elaborate. Pilon's company has filed to liquidate its assets in a Florida state court proceeding that's somewhat similar to a bankruptcy, Billboard reported.
The voice mail greeting at Caiman's Montreal office mentions both Caiman and Tower. When a reporter tried to reach Caiman officials, he was referred to Flynn, who said he's the sole employee of Tower.com.
The Web site's current address, in Wilmington, Del., carries some poignancy. It was in Wilmington in October 2006 that Tower was sold to a liquidator in a bankruptcy auction. The going-out-of-business sale began the following day.
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