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Best Buy to Close 50 Stores, Cut 400 Positions

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) -- These are the worst of times for Best Buy.

Facing losses and stiff competition from retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart and even Apple, Best Buy announced today it plans to close 50 box stores over the next year as it tries to cut costs.

The move comes as the retailer reported a $1.7 billion loss for its fourth quarter ended March 3.

Not only is Best Buy losing market share, its large consumer electronics stores are filled with stuff that many consumers no longer want to buy. Sales of DVDs, games, CDs and software have all been challenged by the rise of online commerce.

Along with the store closures, Best Buy also plans to eliminate about 400 jobs in its corporate and support areas. The goal, the company said in a statement, is to achieve $800 million in cost reductions by its fiscal year 2015.

“In order to help make technology work for every one of our customers and transform our business as the consumer electronics industry continues to evolve, we are taking major actions to improve our operating performance,” Best Buy CEO Brian J. Dunn said in a statement.

“These changes will also help lower our overall cost structure. We intend to invest some of these cost savings into offering new and improved customer experiences and competitive prices — which will help drive revenue,” Dunn added.

As part of the company’s new strategy, Best Buy will remodel some of its big box stores with what it calls a “Connected Store” format. These stores will “focus on connections, services and multi-channel experience through a total transformation of both the store and the operating environment.”

The company also expects to go small, expanding its Buy Mobile stores by opening another 100 by next year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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