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Britannica’s halt of print edition triggers sales

CHICAGO It turns out all Encyclopaedia Britannica had to do to breathe life into the business of selling its print edition was kill it.

Three weeks after announcing it will discontinue its print editions after 244 years, people have been scrambling to buy the last of the 32-volume 2010 edition. On Thursday, spokesman Peter Duckler said all but about 800 of the last 4,000 sets have been sold for $1,395 each.

When the Chicago-based company made its announcement last month, it said sales had plummeted from a peak of 120,000 in 1990 to just 60 a week.

Mr. Duckler says since customers found out the print editions were about to disappear, they’ve been selling at a clip of more than 1,000 a week.

NEW JERSEY

2nd company yanking gift cards from state

TRENTON — A major player in the gift card market is the second company this week to announce it’s pulling out of New Jersey rather than try to comply with changes in the state’s unclaimed property law.

Atlanta-based InComm tells the Associated Press it will end ties with New Jersey on June 30.

The third-party gift card provider supplies 2,500 retail locations with cards for such brands as Visa, iTunes, Macy’s and Subway.

American Express earlier this week said it had pulled its gift cards from all New Jersey retail locations.

Both companies say it’s too hard to comply with a law requiring gift card sellers to obtain ZIP codes from buyers so the state can claim the value of cards not redeemed after two years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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