Columbia House, once a mail-order giant, files for bankruptcy

The parent company of Columbia House, the once-popular mail-order music club, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after 20 years of declining sales.

Filmed Entertainment Inc. said Monday it would sell its Columbia House DVD Club business through an open auction. Though once big in the CD business, the company left the music industry in 2010. Columbia House DVD Club sells direct-to-consumer movies and television series.

In a statement, Filmed Entertainment attributed the sale to the advent of digital media, which drove declines in physical DVD sales and the recorded music business.

Columbia House, a subscription service once known for selling eight CDs for a penny, had $1.4 billion in sales in 1996 at its peak.

But revenue declined each year since then. By 2014, the company's revenue had dropped to $17 million.

Columbia House was formed in 1955.

The Chapter 11 petition was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

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