Another electronics chain decides to shut down some stores to save costs
Staples recently announced that it's going to close down 225 of its retail stores across the United States by the end of next year. The closures are intended to cust costs as Staples attempts to give itself a makeover. It's also in response to a growing number of products being sold on the company's website -- Staples ended 2013 with over 500,000 products on Staples.com versus 100,000 at the beginning of the year.
Store closures are part of RadioShack's turnaround plan
If you're the nostalgic type, you may want to visit your neighborhood RadioShack store and savor the moment, it may be the last. That's because RadioShack is planning to close down 1,100 retail locations in the U.S. that are "underperforming," which will leave the electronics chain with 4,000 remaining stores stateside (including over 900 dealer franchise locations). Though that's a lot of store closures, RadioShack is confident it can turn things around.
Big changes are in store for Sony as part of a restructuring effort
Sony this week announced plans to close down 20 retail stores scattered throughout the United States, which will leave the company with 11 stores in California, New York, Florida, and Texas. The closures are casualties of a restructuring effort intended to help Sony remain competitive in an "evolving consumer electronics market," the company said. Thousands of job cuts are also in Sony's future.
As the holiday shopping season comes into view, Intel has revealed that it plans to open a series of "Intel Experience Stores" in various locations, starting with the first opening in NoLita, New York on November 23 at 10 AM. Since they're being designed for the holiday season, these stores will stay open until the latter part of January, during which time patrons will be able to walk in and play with Intel gear, recycle used electronics, and even test drive new Intel products at home.
According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Blockbuster plans to board up anywhere from 810 to 960 of its retail locations by the end of 2010. Blockbuster says the closures affect all unprofitable stores as it aims "to improve four-wall profitability."
Most of the closures will take place this year, with between 580 and 685 stores expected to be on the chopping block. The remaining unprofitable stores will shut down sometime next year, but there's still time to turn things around.
"All these stores are candidate stores," Blockbuster spokesperson Randy Hargove said in a phone conversation with Cnet. "Although we may in fact close that many stores, if we can renegotiate leases or remodel stores to make them more profitable, that number might go down."
Meanwhile, the company's kiosk business continues to grow and is set to explode this year. In a separate filing with the SEC, Blockbuster said it plans to have 2,500 units available by the end of 2009, up significantly from the 497 kiosk units now available. And by the end of the 2010, Blockbuster anticipates 10,000 kiosks scattered throughout the country in an attempt to "increase the points of distribution."
And maybe increase its stock price. Blockbuster shares are currently trading for $1.40, a far cry from the $45 Netflix shares change hands at.
As promised earlier this year, Microsoft plans to roll out several Microsoft-branded retail store fronts, but up until now, Microsoft wasn't saying where or when. Keven Turner, Microsoft's Chief Operating Officer, answered both of those questions during his Worldwide Partner Conference keynote on July 15.
According to Turner, the first store will open this fall and take residence right next to an Apple store. How's that for a new neighbor?
"As we progress on our retail strategy there will be scenarios where we have stores in proximity to Apple," Microsoft said a statement to CNet. "We are on track to open stores in the Fall timeframe. Beyond that we have no additional details."
Location aside, Turner insists Microsoft wouldn't be imitating Apple, which goes in line with Microsoft previously saying the stores would focus more on building the company's consumer brand than with distribution.
Circuit City Stores Inc. might close 150 stores and opt for job cuts to stall its march towards bankruptcy, according to a WSJ report. Thousands of people might receive their termination letters, if there is any truth in this report. The retailer’s shares shot up by 20% on the back of this report.
Although the company’s spokesman Jim Babb refused to comment on the report, he admitted that the company was “assessing the productivity of our asset base.” With no signs of the ongoing financial storm relenting in the near future, the holiday season might not bring any relief for Circuit City – and its competitors. Apparently, the mess it is currently ensconced in has left Circuit City few choices.