The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., has granted Crown Books' request for a 120-day extension to file its reorganization plan. The court agreed with Crown's argument that before a meaningful restructuring plan could be drafted, the bookstore chain should be allowed to see how its stores perform during the holiday selling season. The new date to submit the plan is March 11.

Crown president Anna Currence told PW that the company's reorganization is "on track." The chain is now down to 94 outlets, following the completion of going-out-of-business sales at 39 locations and the closing of another 42 stores. Currence reported that while one or two outlets may be shut, there are no plans for additional significant store closings before the restructuring plan is finished. According to Currence, Crown's sales for the third quarter were close to projections, although she could not reveal exact figures.

Currence also said that she is not concerned about Barnes &Noble's plan to buy Ingram, even though the latter is Crown's key supplier. Currence noted that she worked at B&N for 17 years and has a good relationship with company chairman Len Riggio. She speculated, "In the early going, I think they will bend over backward to meet the needs of their customers."