Sony shutters 20 U.S. retail stores, slashes 1,000 jobs

Tech retail continues to be tough and Sony is the latest to take a big hit. The company on Wednesday said that it will be closing down 20 U.S. retail stores and slashing 1,000 jobs as it struggles to stay afloat in the highly-competitive consumer electronics market.

The downsizing is in line with Sony Corporation's Feb. 6 earnings announcement outlining an estimated headcount reduction of roughly 5,000 employees globally. The restructuring will also include spinning off Sony's TV operations and putting its personal computer division up for sale. Sony also said that it forecasts a $1.1 billion loss this year as demand slows for TVs and personal computers.

The Tokyo-based company is also up against stiff competition from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co., two brands that dominate the growing market for smartphones, computers, TV's and gadgets.

After the store closings, only 11 Sony stores will remain open in the U.S. sprinkled across California, Florida, New York and Texas. Sony operated 44 retail stores at the chain's peak in 2008, but was forced to close the majority of its stores during the same period that saw major electronics chains such as Circuit City and CompUSA liquidate and shut down altogether. More recently, American TV & Appliance, a Wisconsin-based appliance and electronic retail chain for the past 60 years, announced in February it was closing all of its stores.  

For more:
-See this Sony press release

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