The electronics superstore announced today plans to shut down 50 big box stores across the U.S. as the company restructures to focus on mobile services. A spokesperson for the company said that the popular retailer will launch 100 new mobile locations over the next phase of its restructuring.
Best Buy timed the announcement to coincide with their strong fourth quarter financial report. The company surpassed expectations, growing revenue three percent to $16.6 billion, according to Yahoo! News.
A recent Bloomberg report undercuts the significance of those numbers. Apparently, Best Buy's numbers benefit from an extra week in the company's fiscal calendar. Factoring out the revenue earned over the additional timeframe, Best Buy's revenue actually fell 1.1 percent in the last quarter.
The store closures are the latest in a string of activity at Best Buy geared towards turning around retail operations in the wake of failures at competitors CompUSA and Circuit City. Executives at Best Buy have grown concerned about changes in customer behavior that have many potential buyers coming into stores to test out equipment then making their final purchases from online retailers.
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"These changes will also help lower our overall cost structure," said Best Buy Chief Executive Brian Dunn "We intend to invest some of these cost savings into offering new and improved customer experiences and competitive prices — which will help drive revenue. And, over time, we expect some of the savings will fall to the bottom line."
Last November, Best Buy purchased Carphone Warehouse's stake in its U.S. Cellular operations for a reported $1.3 billion. Best Buy reports that store sales have improved 20 percent within the mobile division since the deal went through.