Best Buy to Close 50 Stores; Twin Falls Outlet Unsure of Future
TWIN FALLS, Apr 08, 2012 (Menafn - The Times-News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --It has been more than a week since Best Buy announced it would close 50 stores nationwide, but employees at the Twin Falls outlet remain uncertain about their future.
The Minnesota-based electronics giant said it will cut expenses by 250 million during fiscal 2013 and by 800 million by 2015. However, officials are mum about which stores will be shuttered, with the exception of five locations in Minneapolis and one in San Antonio.
Twin Falls store manager Jake Astorquia said he hasn't gotten any specifics from the corporate office. He is philosophical about the situation.
"I've always been the kind of person who worries about things within my control and not the other stuff," he said. "What I do know is that we are a company of 1,100 big box stores and we're closing 50 of them."
Best Buy said in a news release it will lay off 400 people in management and corporate support. The company has not said how many people will lose jobs through store closures.
The move comes after Best Buy lost 1.7 billion in the quarter ending March 3. That was a decline of 4.89 per share for the publicly held company.
In response to questions from the Times-News, Best Buy spokeswoman Kelly Groehler said the firm will disclose details about specific store locations and timing for closures "as they are finalized."
She added that the company wants to move toward "mobile stand-alone stores" that are smaller than the normal big box outlets and specialize in mobile devices such as phones and tablets. About 100 of the small stores are projected to open during fiscal 2013.
Industry analysts believe Best Buy's revenue decline results, in part, from the popularity of online shopping. They say some customers view the large stores as showrooms for Internet shopping, with the proliferation of smartphones making price comparisons easy.
Groehler said the company is trying to "evolve our total retail store strategy. We are deliberate and thoughtful when we make such decisions. We are working to ensure the impact of these 50 store closures on the affected employees will be as minimal as possible."
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