Toledo, Ohio-based Marco's Pizza has partnered with Family Video for a co-branding opportunity that will expand the Marco's footprint throughout the country.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Family Video, which is privately held, plans to invest $100 million to open Marco's locations near or in video stores to enhance its business.

Chicago-based Family Video operates 735 video and game rental stores nationwide. The investment should open about 250 Marco's Pizza shops within the next four years, and more than 350 within the next seven years.

The first Marco's Pizza to be located on a Family Video property will open before April in Illinois.

The video shops average about 7,000 square feet, a size that was useful when movies and games came in different formats, but not so much now. The pizza operations are expected to use about 2,000 square feet and will either be carved out in existing store space or nearby.

Marco's CEO Jack Butorac admitted he had apprehension about the idea at first, given the financial troubles of other video chains such as Blockbuster's. However, Family Video has little debt and has increased same-store sales for the past 29 out of 30 years in existence.

Marco's Pizza has 280 locations in 21 states, and expects to open about 100 more this year, in addition to those associated with its Family Video partnership, Butorac said.

Under the partnership arrangement, Family Video eventually could become a minority owner in the pizza chain.

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