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Issue Date: Vol. 57, No. 5 May 2017, Posted On: 4/13/2017

National Entertainment Network Acquires Bulk Vending Machine Manufacturer Northwestern Corp.

Hank Schlesinger
TAGS: National Entertainment Network, Northwestern Corp., Northwestern acquisition, bulk vending, coin-op news, coin machine industry, Emerson A. Bolen, amusement machine operator

BROOMFIELD, CO -- National Entertainment Network, headquartered here, said it has purchased the assets of bulk vending machine manufacturer Northwestern Corp. Terms were not disclosed.

NEN officials said the sale includes tooling of the Morris, IL-based company. Northwestern is undergoing an evaluation by NEN that will determine the future direction of the machine brand. NEN officials said production of Northwestern venders could resume in the near future.

Founded in 1909 by Emerson A. Bolen, Northwestern is an iconic name in the bulk vending sector. Its first machines were novelty venders that dispensed matches and stamps; it began making bulk vending machines in the 1930s. The company, which was owned by the Bolen family until its sale this year, grew into one of the largest manufacturers of bulk-loading equipment in the United States. Northwestern Series 60 and Series 80 models are among the most popular among bulk vending operators.

With an estimated 150,000 units in 20,000 locations, NEN is the nation's largest front-end retail and amusement vending operation. In addition to bulk vending equipment, the company operates claw machines and kiddie rides, along with its exclusive Selfie Station photobooth.

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