Best Buy to cut costs, close some big-box stores
MINNEAPOLIS | Best Buy Co. said it plans to close 50 big-box stores and open 100 small mobile locations in the U.S. in fiscal 2013 and cut $800 million in costs by fiscal 2015. The news came Thursday as the biggest U.S. specialty electronics retailer posted a fiscal fourth-quarter loss partly because of restructuring charges, but its adjusted results topped Wall Street’s expectations.
Best Buy’s strategy of focusing on closing some of its hulking stores to concentrate on smaller Best Buy Mobile outlets illustrates the shifting nature of the electronics industry. Shoppers aren’t flocking to big-box stores as they once did. And sales of TVS, digital cameras and video-game consoles have weakened, while sales of tablet computers, smartphones and e-readers have increased.
Best Buy lost $1.7 billion, or $4.89 per share, for the period ended March 3. That compares with a profit of $651 million, or $1.62 per share, a year ago.
The Minneapolis company said its quarterly results included $2.6 billion in charges. They were mostly related to its purchase of Carphone Warehouse Group PLC’S interest in the Best Buy Mobile profit-sharing agreement and related costs, as well as an impairment charge tied to writing off Best Buy Europe goodwill and restructuring charges.