By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
San Diego — Sony Electronics is restructuring “to maintain its competitiveness in an evolving consumer electronics market” in the U.S., and as part of the effort it will shut 20 of its stores.
Sony Electronics confirmed in a statement a total staff reduction of one-third by the end of the calendar year, affecting approximately 1,000 employees across all sites. “In addition, in an effort to further streamline costs and continue focus on existing partner relations, Sony announced the closure of 20 U.S. Sony Stores,” the company said.
Sony said the restructuring is “in line with Sony Corporation’s Feb. 6 earnings announcement outlining an estimated headcount reduction of roughly 5,000 employees globally.”
“While these moves were extremely tough, they were absolutely necessary to position us in the best possible place for future growth,” said Mike Fasulo, president and COO of Sony Electronics, in a statement. “I am entirely confident in our ability to turn the business around, in achieving our preferred future, and continue building on our flawless commitment to customer loyalty through the complete entertainment experience only Sony can offer.”
Sony said in its statement it “continues to drive its industry leadership in premium products across all of CE, including all-things 4K, and further plans to reinforce its market leadership through strengthening its 4K product lineup and bolstering 2K models in 2014, with a continued commitment to the future success of its U.S. television business.”
Sony said it “will place an increased focus on its premium products — including its digital imaging line, high-resolution audio and full suite of professional solutions — while leveraging its strengths in hardware, content and gaming.”
Twenty stores in the U.S. are closing: Tysons, Va.; University Village, Wash.; Galleria Dallas, Texas; Forum Shops, Nev.; Pentagon, Va.; Boca Raton, Fla.; Menlo Park, N.J.; Las Americas, Calif.; Camarillo, Calif.; Aurora, Ill.; Gilroy, Calif.; Central Valley, N.Y.; Wrentham, Mass.; Pleasant Prairie, Wis.; San Marcos, Texas; Cherry Creek, Colo.; Dolphin, Fla.; Century City, Calif.; Valley Fair, Calif.; and Comcast, Pa.
Eleven stores remain open, including its New York City flagship store and its SPE store at the Culver City, Calif., studios.
Sony operated 44 retail stores at the chain’s peak in 2008, excluding outlets, and was the 20th largest CE retailer in 2012, according to TWICE’s Top 100 rankings. Sales totaled $829 million, down 7 percent from the prior year, as the company began closing locations.
Sony did not provide further details on other organizational changes regarding this announcement.
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