Crown Books Hires Charles Cumello as President and CEO; Former Head of Waldenbooks to Lead Recently Reorganized Discount Bookseller

Nov 29, 1999, 00:00 ET from Crown Books Corporation

    LANDOVER, Md., Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Crown Books Corporation announced
 today that the Company has hired Charles R. Cumello as President and CEO,
 effective immediately.  Mr. Cumello, former President and CEO of Waldenbooks
 and a 30-year veteran of the retailing industry, replaces Steve Panagos, who
 served as interim CEO through the Company's recent emergence from bankruptcy
 protection.  Mr. Panagos will continue to serve as a director of Crown Books.
     "Charlie is the perfect choice to take Crown Books into the next
 millenium," said Robert Miller, Chairman of Crown's Board of Directors.  "His
 deep knowledge of the book business, his strong industry relationships and his
 vast retailing experience will help position the Company for renewed growth.
 Charlie has a proven track record of success in the business.  The entire
 Crown team looks forward to working with him to expand the Company's
 traditional bookstore business and leverage Crown's strengths into the
 e-commerce marketplace."
     From 1980 through 1994, Mr. Cumello was a senior executive with
 Waldenbooks, serving as President and CEO of the $1 billion, 1,110 store
 division of Kmart from 1991 through 1994.  Under Mr. Cumello's leadership,
 Waldenbooks doubled profits over a four-year period and created the company's
 superstore model.  He served from 1995 to May 1998 as President and CEO of
 Factory Card Outlet, a chain of superstores offering a wide assortment of
 party supplies, greeting cards and special occasion merchandise.  During his
 tenure, the company grew from 70 stores and annual sales of $63 million to
 approximately 200 stores and annual sales of  $200 million.  Prior to
 Waldenbooks, he spent ten years in senior executive positions with the
 Melville Corporation's Chess King, Miles Shoes and Thom McAn divisions.
     "Crown Books is known in its markets as the place with the best prices on
 books and periodicals," said Charles Cumello.  "I look forward to further
 building the Crown brand and seizing opportunities to take the Company's
 discount strategy to new audiences both online and offline."
     Crown is a discount retailer of general trade books, book-related products
 and non-book products.  The Company has 92 stores located in five major
 metropolitan areas: Washington, DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and
 San Diego.  Crown is known for its ability to sell books at the lowest price
 of any traditional bookseller and at prices comparable to Internet
 booksellers.  Crown has 1,700 employees and has annual sales of approximately
 $190 million.

SOURCE Crown Books Corporation