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Tweeter Cuts 20% Of HQ Staff

Canton, Mass. – Tweeter Home Entertainment Group has eliminated 20 percent of its corporate and administrative staff in an effort to further reduce expenses and return to profitability.

The restructuring, announced this morning, is expected to result in an annual savings of about $6 million. Approximately 70 of Tweeter’s 360 headquarters positions have been cut, ranging from coordinators to VP-level personnel. Of those, about half were already vacated either through attrition or by being left unfilled, a spokesperson said. The layoffs were effective yesterday.

In a statement, president and CEO Joe McGuire said, “After thoughtful deliberation, we determined that a reduction in our overhead expenses was consistent with our continued turnaround efforts and our goal of returning to profitability.”

“It is a necessary step towards improving the health of our company,” he said.

The announcement dovetailed with a somber quarterly sales report. The A/V specialty chain said total sales fell 12 percent for the three months ended Dec. 31 while same-store sales declined 10 percent. McGuire attributed the declines to a dramatic drop-off in demand for rear projection TVs and a fiercely promotional environment in which average selling prices on plasma displays fell 31 percent from the year-ago quarter.

(Visit later today for updates on Best Buy andCircuitCityholiday sales.)