Two local franchise businesses are closing their doors, as companies reduce operations in the face of an ongoing economic recession.

Movie Gallery to close Camden store

Among the 760 Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video and Game Crazy stores closed in a company wide restructuring is the one at 145 Elm St. in Camden. Almost a third of the company’s stores are part of the downsizing.

“Movie Gallery Inc. filed voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code,” according to a Feb. 2 press release. “This action will enable Movie Gallery to restructure its debt while continuing to operate its business.”

Based in Wilsonville, Ore., Movie Gallery is North America’s second largest video and game rental company.

“We are closing these because they are not profitable and because funds from liquidating them can help us moving forward,” the press release said.

The company filed the most recent Chapter 11 petition Feb. 2. Published reports have said a prior reorganization was based on a confirmed recovery plan in May 2007.

In April 2008 Movie Gallery announced that it was “poised to emerge as a competitive and financially stable company.”

“We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish during our short time in Chapter 11 and look forward to working with all of our stakeholders through the remainder of our restructuring and beyond,” the company said.

Store managers in Camden and Rockland would not comment on the local closure, except to say that they were instructed to give members of the press the telephone number of the company’s restructuring information line.

That number reaches an automated system. “As a matter of company policy Movie Gallery is not responding to media inquires on this issue,” the system announced Feb. 8. A phone call requesting specific information regarding the Camden store elicited an automated e-mail response acknowledging the request. No further information was given.

An announcement at the company’s Web site at moviegallery.com/restructure, dated Feb. 3, states that following the current closures, some of Movie Gallery’s remaining 1,906 stores in the United States will also be closed as part of the bankruptcy. Stores in Canada are not affected by the filing, the announcement said.

“In the Chapter 11 filing, the company cited the economic and competitive realities facing its business,” the announcement said. “Over the past two years, Movie Gallery took a number of steps to respond to its business challenges and position the company for future success, including closing several hundred underperforming stores across the country; however, these actions were not sufficient.”

A Feb. 4 news release said a ruling of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division would allow Movie Gallery to use cash on hand to meet payroll and other expenses as the bankruptcy process continues.

Rockport Domino’s consolidates with Rockland store

In a press release dated Feb. 8, Beth and Pat Provost announced that they had closed their Domino’s Pizza store at 106 Commercial St. in Rockport and that operations from that location would be consolidated with the Domino’s store at 222 Park St. in Rockland.

“Due to the market and current economic pressures it became necessary to consolidate our locations,” the press release said.

Pat Provost said Feb. 8 that the decision was based on two major factors.

“It’s difficult for a lot of places,” he said. “A lot of people have shuttered doors during this recession.” Provost said the other factor was a mandate from the parent company, Domino’s Pizza Inc., calling for each store to obtain a new computer system.

“That is an investment that — based on things shrinking in the Camden and Rockport markets — didn’t make sense for us at that location,” he said.

“On a personal level it’s very sad,” Provost said. “On a business level it’s just business.” Provost said there would be no layoffs as a result of the closure and all workers who wished to remain with the company would be absorbed into the Rockland store.

“We have a great product,” he said. “We have great service. We have outstanding employees. We have loyal customers.”

The Rockport store opened in 1994, three years after Provost began operation in Rockland. He said the closure reflected a decrease in sales in the Camden and Rockport area.

“Based on the pressures that are on all of us, the timing made sense,” Provost said. He said the store was opened when credit card company MBNA was active in Camden. The closure years later of that company’s facilities, along with the general economic recession now under way, led to a reduction in business for the Rockport pizzeria, he said.

Most of the area served by the Rockport store will no longer be on the delivery route, Provost said. He said the Rockland delivery boundaries will be extended to include Penobscot Bay Medical Center and the Physician’s Building in Rockport, and arrangements can be made for drivers to meet customers at agreed-upon locations.

Provost said business remains strong at his Rockland store.

“All gift certificates will be honored at the Rockland location, as well as any fundraiser cards purchased from any local fundraising groups,” the press release said. Maine School Administrative District 28 students whose grades have earned them free pizza may obtain that reward at the Rockland store, the release said.

The Provosts also operate Domino’s Pizza franchises in Brunswick and Yarmouth.

In 2008 Domino’s Pizza had global retail sales of more than $5.5 billion, comprising nearly $3.1 billion domestically and more than $2.4 billion internationally, according to the press release. Global retail sales in the third quarter of 2009 amounted to more than $1.2 billion, with more than $672 million of those sales taking place in the United States.

The Rockland Domino’s Pizza Store at 222 Park St. can be reached at 594-9494.