More than 40 years since its founding, Trans World Entertainment continues to be the leader in entertainment retail – adapting, innovating, and anticipating the needs of our customers. Through software development, data, and best-in-class delivery, we’ve created a 360° multi-channel experience that reaches our customers through physical retail storefronts, online marketplaces, and direct websites.
After decades of acquisitions and growth, change and evolution, Trans World Entertainment stands alone for one simple reason: Our ability to adapt and set the pace for entertainment retail.
A 360° Retail Experience
In 2016, Trans World Entertainment acquired etailz, Inc., an independently operated digital marketplace retailer across all product categories. etailz uses a data-driven approach and proprietary software to grow brands on Amazon, Jet, eBay, Walmart, and Alibaba in the U.S. and internationally.
Through blending this online marketplace expertise with access to Trans World’s nearly 270 brick & mortar stores and direct websites, we have created a complete retail experience like you’ve never seen before.
We cultivate legendary partnerships
We are passionate about bridging the gap between the entertainment industry and our customers. Through fostering decades-long relationships with iconic brands such as Disney, Marvel, DC Comics, Twentieth Century Fox, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., and others, we are able to deliver our customers a unique entertainment perspective through innovative and creative products from their favorite pop culture brands.
Over 40 years of history
The beginning | 1970s
Trans World was founded in 1972 by Robert J. Higgins and opened its first retail store in 1973 under the name Record Town. Within 10 years, the business had grown to 38 stores by capitalizing on the burgeoning mall phenomenon.
A booming industry | 1980s
The entertainment industry changed with the introduction of CDs and home video in the late ‘80s, and Trans World quickly expanded as a result. By 1994, Trans World owned and operated 712 stores.
Soaring success | 1990s
As profits continued to soar throughout the ‘90s, Trans World acquired Strawberries, Inc., a 90-store music retailer operating in the New England area. That same year, Trans World signed a definitive agreement to acquire Camelot Music Holdings, one of its largest national competitors.
Strategic growth | 2000s
As the entertainment industry began to change throughout the 2000’s with the introduction of streaming, Trans World continued to add to its core business by acquiring Wherehouse Entertainment and Musicland, its biggest competitor.
Into the future | 2016 – Present
Trans World has always been in tune with the changes of the industry. To combat dipping sales due to decreased mall traffic, the company made the strategic decision to embrace the leading platform in online merchandise sales: Amazon. In 2016, Trans World Entertainment acquired etailz, Inc., a leading digital marketplace retailer. This natural partnership has reaffirmed Trans World’s status as the pacesetter in multi-channel retail.
Trans World Executive Officers
Chief Executive Officer
Michael continually incites growth at Trans World through his approach to bridging the gap between finance and creativity in the fast-paced, flexible, dynamic, omnichannel environment. Over the course of his 20+ years of multi-channel merchandising, he has proven the ability to engineer and deliver both high growth strategies and reinvention initiatives. Prior to joining Trans World as CEO in 2014, Michael was Senior Vice President of Merchandising for 9 years at Coldwater Creek. Other past experience includes 9 years with Gap, where he planned their Japanese, European, and Canadian markets.
Chief Financial Officer
John has been bringing value to Trans World since 1995. He has served in positions of increasing responsibility including Manager of Financial Reporting, Director of Accounting, and Controller before his most recent promotion to Chief Financial Officer in February of 2013.
Chief Digital Officer
Throughout 20+ years as a Founder, CEO, COO, and CMO, Chris has coupled ecommerce experience with operating expertise in technology, digital, and mobile, to lead teams through all phases of the company life cycle. Chris brings tremendous value to Trans World as Chief Digital Officer by driving results across multiple marketplaces, mobile, and social media retail.
Bruce J. Eisenberg
Executive Vice President of Real Estate
Bruce joined Trans World in 1993 and has served as Vice President of Real Estate, Senior Vice President of Real Estate, and has been the Executive Vice President of Real Estate since May 2001. Prior to joining Trans World, Bruce was responsible for leasing, finance, and construction of new regional mall development at The Pyramid Companies.
Chief Information Officer
Steve joined Trans World Entertainment in January 2017 and brings an extensive track record of success, spanning over 25 years with companies such as Accenture, CSC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Saks Fifth Avenue, and most recently, Perfumania Holdings, where he served as their CIO & Head of Business Transformation. Steve is leveraging his deep experience in IT management, business transformation, and retail & ecommerce operations to help position Trans World for growth into the future.
etailz Executive Officers
Founder & CEO
Josh’s approach to innovation and leadership have served as the catalyst for continued growth at etailz. Josh and etailz have been recognized for numerous awards including Seattle Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year, Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Catalyst’s Top 30 Under 30, and one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing, privately held companies in the U.S. 4 years in a row.
Founder & Executive Advisor
Sarah continues to create value through her creative, collaborative, and passionate approach to developing teams and processes. Sarah was the Vice President of Partner Relations for 7 years and recently has transitioned into an Executive Advisor role overseeing the HR Team and tackling special projects.
Vice President of Business Development
Mitchell has played a significant role in etailz’s development throughout his time with the company. Skilled in his ability to adapt, lead, and efficiently execute, Mitchell helps lead etailz into the future. Through varying roles at etailz over the years, he has gleaned a wealth of knowledge regarding the company and the ecommerce industry.
Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer
Mary brings a wealth of experience to etailz from her most recent work in marketing & analytics at Coldwater Creek and Vanity, as well as strategic planning at Twentieth Century Fox. Gifted with the ability to connect with others, Mary has pioneered successful new business initiatives that propelled revenue growth, brand exposure, and market expansion.
Vice President of Finance
Alfred comes from a background of various industries serving B2B and B2C markets. He approaches financial operations as a resource with two main functions: to keep a company functioning from behind the scenes, and to provide value-added financial insight to assist leaders in making well-informed decisions.