Best Buy announced they will be closing 50 of its U.S. stores, cut 400 corporate jobs and trim $800 million in costs. The Best Buy has about 1,400 U.S. locations, also plans to open 100 smaller and more profitable Best Buy Mobile stores throughout the country to sell mobile electronics.
This announcement from Best Buy to close 50 of their stores came after fourth-quarter losses. The electronics retailer (NYSE: BBY) lost $1.7 billion during the quarter, compared with earning $651 million during the same quarter a year ago.
Best Buy plans to have 100 more of these “mobile-only” locations by the end of this year increasing to 600 – 800 by 2015. Two markets, San Antonio, Texas and the Twin Cities will receive remodeled superstores called “Connected Stores.” Square footage will be reduced by 20 percent in these test stores.
Brian J. Dunn, CEO of Best Buy said in a statement, “How do we position the company so we’re where our customers need us to be? We’re clearly going to have more doors and less square footage. In order to help make technology work for every one of our customers and transform our business as the consumer electronics industry continues to evolve, we are taking major actions to improve our operating performance. As part of our multi-channel strategy, we intend to strengthen our portfolio of store formats and footprints — closing some big box stores, modifying others to our enhanced Connected Store format, and adding Best Buy Mobile stand-alone locations — all to provide a better shopping environment for our customers across multiple channels while increasing points of presence, and to improve performance and profitability.”
In effort to keep themselves apart from the competition, Best Buy is going to train sales staff to help shoppers get the most out of their tablets, TVs and other electronic devices, including tech support from its “Geek Squad” service and repair unit.